Monday, July 28, 2008

Revolution #6

Today I woke up and just couldn't take it any more.

I took a long look in the mirror, poked at a few blemishes cropping up under my jawline.

Made alternating "fat belly/skinny belly" poses.

Tried to get my hair to lay down with some water and hair gel.

Examined the freakishly large, colorless mole in my hairline.

Tried to determine if the "extra whitening" toothpaste I've been using is really working.

Leaned over the toilet bowl...

And shaved my head.

I haven't seen my natural color (except growing in at the bottom of another color) in more than 10 years.  It's nicer than I remembered.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

God Dammit!

The Mountain Goats announced their fall tour schedule today.  Apparently, it's more worth their time to play a Halloween gig in Lubbock than to come to Vegas.  Ever.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yesterday, Tyson was hankering for something tasty to eat, so I made us a blueberry pie. No kidding, I did the whole cold-butter-cold-shortening-ice-water pie crust thing, then made a filling with blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and rice flour to put in between.

I think I will start keeping a batch of pie crust in the freezer for when fruit is on sale. I feel a lattice-topped peach pie coming on soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

*blink blink*

By far the most noticeable and sort of strange side effect of taking phentermine to get both my bootylicious curves and cholesterol under control is an incredible ability to focus my attention on tasks.

No kidding.  When I very first started taking it, I was all aflutter with nervous energy for the first few hours until I levelled out, but lately I get this crazy focus along with it.  I can get on a cardio machine at the gym and hammer out 40 minutes without really thinking about it.  I'll start on a project and forget to eat, go to the bathroom, feed the dogs, or whatever, and before I know it, HOURS have gone by.  Tyson's been gone this week, and I've been alternating between playing video games and reading blogs and stuff and working on materials for my class next year in about four-hour stretches at a time.

Today a contractor with a giant tile cutter pulled up in front of the neighbor's at 6 a.m.  The dogs started barking so I got dressed, fed them, let the dogs out of the back house, ate some quick breakfast, took my meds, and sat down at the computer at about 8.  I remember resurfacing at noon and thinking, "man, I'm hungry," preheating the oven for leftover pizza, and forgetting all about it for another hour.  I did think to set a timer once I put the pizza in, or I may well have caught the whole house on fire.  

Based on information from my browser history and jump drive, I have reconstructed what my day looked like, I think:

1. Read blogs.

2. Read comics.

3. Did crossword on yahoo.

4. Made a blog post.

5. Dicked around on Facebook. (This is about where my medicine would have kicked in.  I remember feeling really thirsty about then, a sure sign of being hopped up on stimulants.)

6. Started working on school stuff.  Typed up job descriptions for 6 management positions, training checklists for 4 of them, and evaluation sheets for all.  Lots of it was straight off the hard copies I have in a folder, but I had to invent some things, too.

7. Made a long list of logs, calendars, and other organizational templates I still have to make.  Decided not to get into an involved search for whether I could import XML files from my gradebook program into Word, or if I needed an Excel table instead.  Made sketches of what some of the tables should look like, instead.  Somewhere in here is where I ate leftover pizza (sort of--I kept forgetting I was supposed to be eating and kept working instead until it was cold).

8.  Started searching for school and office supply wholesalers.  Specifically, compared prices on cheapest 2" binders available.  This is where my right hand started to ache and I had to switch to my left.

9.  Shook head to clear the cobwebs.  Realized my butt and right foot were asleep and I really had to pee.

10. Checked email.

11. Remembered I was supposed to check the status of my federal student loan consolidation application.  (Hooray for 4.2% interest!!)  Waded through online bureaucracy to find out my loan was in "preprocessing," meaning nobody's probably even looked at it yet.

12. Read increasingly desperate emails from local Kung Fu studio I expressed interest in.  Followed links to some interesting videos on the different styles they teach.

13. Facebook again.  After my students last year accessed my blog from my profile, I removed it, and now that I am back on I am driven by an intense need to know what's been going on in the lives of lots of people I don't really like in person all that much.

14. Blogs again.  Nothing new since this morning.  I need a bigger blogroll.

15. Realized I was very, very hungry and the dishes I started this morning are still sitting in cold, murky water in the sink.  Ate ice cream and tried not to think about it.

And now it's, well, it's now.  I purposely worked too hard at the gym yesterday (I'm sure there was a reason, but now I've forgotten it), and my mouse arm and shoulder are aching.  I stayed up too late and woke up too early, but my brain is still just humming away.  If I wasn't so sore, I'd be doing a few more things, like: looking online for a memory foam mattress topper, doing research on the AWESOME Christmas present I'm thinking of getting Tyson, looking up ab exercises, playing with Pandora radio, trying to learn how to use Excel, trying to figure out why dividing a portion of text in a long Word document into columns makes a new section start, therefore restarting page numbering and also how to fix it, looking for or designing a snazzy logo for my program's course expectations, making a list of school supplies we can sell to get the other stuff we want since our budget's all slashed to hell, looking for advice on how to write a small grant to get some DVDs from Boys Town Press, practicing importing XML files into other documents, reconciling my checking account in Quicken, plugging the AmLit reading list I made yesterday into a week-by-week planning chart for each quarter of next year, going back over the stuff I did today and making sure a few of the details are consistent with my 25-page expectations packet, figuring out how the code for my "Recent Comments" plug-in got broken and how to fix it, and pricing plane tickets to Rochester in November.

Whew.  I am glad I have to go to the airport soon to pick up friends or I might never leave this chair.

UPDATE: This is possibly the stupidest post ever.  Still, I seem to have expended an awful lot of energy getting it all down.  Case in point?

Great Comic Today!

From Cat and Girl.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

in which I have a new hobby!

This is even more fun than that "No Blood For Oil" graffiti debate in that bathroom stall in the English building!*  It's "Missed Connections"** on Craigslist!

You: Astonishing young lady in "LOVE" t-shirt and "Death or Glory" sneakers. Brown eyes, and a penchant for bright minty-green colors. 

Me: Tall blond guy in the row behind you, across the aisle 

I noticed you at the Vegas airport, and thought you noticed me. I nearly sat by you on the plane but then got sidetracked across the aisle and a row back. I am not looking for anything interaction-wise, but I wanted you to know that you are probably the most attractive woman I have ever seen. Just perfect, really. 

I noticed that you are a nervous flier. I used to be one, too, but reading the novel "Airframe" by Michael Crichton really helped me with that. You might try it. 

Thanks for making the flight more pleasant.

*I used to check in every Thursday afternoon between American Lit and my creative writing workshop to see what someone had written.  It must have been 2003, just before we got into the war and Tyson and I were like the only people on Earth who thought that was a bad idea, and I have to say reading that bizarre, vitriolic conversation scrawled on the bathroom stall was the most entertaining part of my week.

**Yes, I know I should have started following these after reading Ghost World.  But it takes me awhile sometimes to get on the bandwagon.  (It's quite a big decision.)

Monday, July 07, 2008


I make this meatloaf dinner almost every week during the winter.  People in the know (such as my moms and Deidre) will recognize this as a recipe from The New Best Recipe book, great as a cookbook and highly informational as well.  It took some experimenting to get the potatoes ready before the meatloaf cools because they cook at a higher temperature, and turning up the oven with the meatloaf in it makes it ooze way too much.  You'll probably have to buy a full pound of veal and of pork; just put the rest in a bag in the freezer for next time.

Mix in a small bowl and set aside:

1/2 c. ketchup

1/4 c. brown sugar

4 t. cider vinegar

Sautee in olive oil:

1 medium onion, diced

Whisk together in a large bowl:

2 eggs

1/2 t. dried thyme

1 t. salt

1/2 t. ground pepper

2 t. Dijon mustard

2 t. Worchestershire sauce

dash hot pepper sauce

1/2 c. milk


1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

16 crushed saltine crackers

sauteed onions

1. Mix thoroughly and shape into a 9"x5" loaf on a foil-covered pan.  Your hands are all dirty already, so smear on about half of the ketchup glaze.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until thermometer registers 160 degrees.

2. While the meatloaf cooks, cut 2 pounds of red potatoes into even pieces.  Golf-ball-sized potatoes can be cut in half; cut larger potatoes into fourths or eighths.  Put into a gallon-sized bag with 2T olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and toss to coat.  Pour potatoes onto a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer so that all potatoes have one cut side down.  Cover baking sheet tightly with foil.

3. After 44-50 minutes of baking time, add the sheet of potatoes to the oven.  When the meatloaf is done, carefully remove the foil with a potholder or tongs.  No kidding, I've steam-burned myself here, and it's no good.  Take the meatloaf out and cover it with the potato foil.  Turn the oven up to 450 and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.

4. Using a metal spatula, scrape the potatoes off the baking sheet and flip so that each potato has the other cut side down.  Return to oven and cook 12-15 more minutes, or until skins are wrinkled.

5. To get everything done at once, use the oilve-oil bag to coat some asparagus spears.  Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and add to the oven when you flip the potatoes.  Depending on thickness, they will take 10-15 minutes to cook.

I hope you enjoy!

More dismal budget news...

A few days ago, a message went out from my principal saying we'd hold off on ordering until August, when we were more sure what was going to happen with the budget.  I tried not to sweat it too much, even though there's about $15K worth of furniture and facilities for my program in the order queue.

Today the news is worse: our anticipated budget of $490,000 has been cut to $185,000.  That's for any new purchases for all of our clubs, organizations, programs, special ed, facilities and maintenance, athletics, and academic departments.  EVERYTHING but utilities and payroll, essentially.  So for now, no new books, no consumable supplies (looks like I'll be buying my own red pens and dry erase markers this year!), no nothing.  No word yet on what it means for my program.  It'll be a long year if I wind up with 4 sections of regular old English I and no compensation for the 150 or so hours of work I've done already.

My husband's boss makes more than that a year, and he DOESN'T have to run a school for 2200 kids out of his own pocket.

Friday, July 04, 2008

God Bless America

I am halfway through reading Al Gore's recent book, The Assault on Reason, and you know what?  It may well make a flag-wavin' American out of me yet.  I'm glad to see someone with money and some degree of power and influence who thinks there is something fundamentally wrong with things, but that our society can be saved, and, in fact, is worthy of more than continuing to live in Backwards Land.

But besides making me feel smarmy and hopeful, he really lays out the egregious ass-fucking we've been receiving since, oh, January of 2001.  That was the first presidential election I could vote in, and I was so, so excited to be involved.  Then, when Bush became president, I adopted a "duck-and-cover" mentality when it came to news--I was like the paranoid depressive who knows everything is so bad, you might as well not leave the house so you can avoid seeing the specific ways in which everything is screwed up, and instead pulls the curtains and sits on the couch, clutching her knees and rocking back and forth under a ratty afghan.  So I missed an awful lot of the Bush Legacy, apparently.  The McCain Amendment, anyone?  The fact that there are more than 100 prisoners at Gitmo that we actually tell people we don't want going free, but we have no intention of ever charging with a crime?  I think I'm gearing up here for an extra-fancy blog post, complete with all sorts of hyperlinks and stuff, but I'm not going there right this second.

Another Video Copout Excuse for a Blog Entry

This is Robert Moraine.  Tyson has posted him before, but he was back on So You Think You Can Dance last night.  Definitely made the million or so commercial breaks worth sitting through.  Seriously, Fox, how many commercial breaks need to go in a single hour of television?  Everybody knows the hipsters only buy stuff they see on the Internets these days.