September 2004 Archives

In other news

Do me a favor and check out Lost on ABC. Based on what I've seen, it could well rock, and I'd hate for it to get canceled, Firefly-style, before I find out for sure. Thanks.

(PS. David Fury is one of the writers!)

Ladies...and Gentlemen

Meet your new Avon lady. Seriously. They were at the career fair, and I decided to go for it. If nothing else, I'll know how to get ahold of my Skin-So-Soft. The Mary Kay ladies, on the other hand, had already scampered off by the time I arrived.

As I expected, there wasn't much to the career fair. I don't know whether to be disappointed in or proud of myself: there was candy at many of the tables, and I did not walk around scamming candy off of every one. I took one mini Snickers from the collection agency's table, and that's it. Does this mean I'm growing up, or just losing my touch?

At the Fair

There is a "career fair" in town today, which is code for "we have a bunch of jobs that no one really wants because they basically suck". However, I may go anyway and report on the horribleness of it.


I feel that I have been less than entertaining lately. Not that my main purpuse here is to entertain: it is to practice my HTML and my writing skills (both of which are a little soggy at the moment), but I do feel that while people are reading this, I should do more than just take up a little webspace.

I've just been going through a fairly boring patch. I haven't been to any movies, shows, festivals, or the like in a while. No new restaurants to review. I haven't even done much web surfing. Most of my time has been devoted to finding a good job, possibly career-track, and getting out of my enormous debt-hole while spending as little money as possible. The stars seem to be aligned against me, as far as that all goes.

Still, there are a few new tidbits. Today I was not able to get a teaching assignent, so I am spending the day searching out samples of past reviews that I've done to polish up, for a possile shot at an arts writer job (longshot). I've also gotten one call in response to my babysitting ads. Unfortunately, it was for a family that lives veeeeery far away from me--Mazo. They are already pretty far out if you are on their end of town, and I live on the opposite end. I'm considering it, but a northeast side to Mazo drive is just not an exciting prospect. Still, where there is one there may be others.

I spent the past two weekends up north at my dad's house, undertaking some housecleaning of a massive scale. There are literally years of clutter and as-yet-not-unpacked boxes (from 1991) that are crying out for attention. Entire rooms are unusable because of the crap. This weekend I mostly tackled the basement. I filled one huge bag with trash, plus two bags of old glass jars from my great-grandmother.

A frugal Swede, the woman never threw anything out if it might be usuable. Shelf after shelf was stocked with empty molasses, jelly, mayonaise, peanut, peanut butter, and instant coffee jars, just to name a few. Some of them still held traces of the original contents. I haven't even gotten to all of them yet. I won't toss any of the Mason, Bell, or Kerr type canning jars. I will, however, have quite a project when it comes to dealing with the jar that still contain ancient canned goods. Some are as old as 1967. Greyish blackberries (I think) from the mid-80's float forlornly in a dark liquid. Suspicious brown sludges defy identification. I may dump the contents and save the jars, but I'll be wearing a hazmat suit to do it.

I also unearthed boxes of "Oh my god! I always wondered where that had gone!" Things I hadn't seen since we moved from the original Irving Place. And after hours of work, I have still only scratched the surface. It's going to be a loooong project. God help my sanity and patience.

Day Off

I'm home today, taking a sick day. When I woke up this morning, I was feeling rather dizzy. That happens from time to time, possibly from being tired, though I'm not entirely sure. I do know that the feeling usually goes away by 11 or so. If I have no choice, it usually isn't so bad that I can't work at all, but it is very unpleasant. However, if I have a sick day available, I like to use it.

The funny thing about today was that since I was supposed to be at the same school I've been at most of the week, I decided to let them know directly instead of just calling the sub office. So I called and left a message on the secretary's voicemail (no one answered) and then I called and left a message on the voicemail at the sub office (no one answered there, either). In a little while, I started getting calls for new assignments. On the one hand, it meant that I had been taken off the original assignment. On the other hand, why was I getting calls for new assignments when I was supposed to be out sick?

At one point, about an hour after the school day started, the school secretary called, wondering where I was. Apparently, she had not gotten the message from the voicemail or from the sub office. I explained the matter, and then went back to lying down. The last phone call I got was for an assignment at that same school, starting at noon. Part of me wanted to take it, since I'd probably be past my dissiness by then (I am now). However, I didn't know how it would work with the fact that I had already taken a sick day for today.

I guess I should make sure the sub office knows I'm taking a sick day.

Ok, so I'm in

Apparently, just like on gmail, there is another kayjay out there (what is up with that?), so now I am kayjayoh. Whether I will do anything with this remains to be seen. I doubt that I will do any blogging over there. I'm still trying to figure out the rest of the stuff.


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I'm starting to think I had better sign up for Live Journal, or whatever the hell you do. Not to journal on, but so that I can actually comment in other people's journals, rather than having to email them with every comment.


I think that caffeine and I do not get along, as a general thing. I had decided to give coffee another try, as I have to get back into the swing of being up and ready to go at 6 AM. Last week I'd solved my sleepiness at school by getting cans of Coke out of the vending machine. This morning, I made and drank two cups of coffee. I felt kind of icky after the Coke and extremely icky after the coffee. In fact, I still feel gross and it has been hours. Not headachy, but shaky and sick to my stomach. I guess I'll have to find other ways to wake up and stay that way.


This weekend I was totally (and metaphorically) slapped by two people for my admission to voting Republican in the primary. They even brought out the ghost of Joe McCarthy, saying that Democrats had voted for him in the primary, thinking he'd be easy to beat, and look how well *that* turned out. I promised to never do it again.

Ya think?

Brain drain

There were several other things I wanted to post about tonight, but now that I'm at the computer, I can't think of a single one. Dammit.


This Tuesday, I did something I've never, ever done before. I voted Republican. It felt wierd.

In the Fall Primary, the only Democrat that wasn't running unopposed was the Dane County clerk, and I really had no opinion on that race. There wasn't a lot going on with the Green Party candidates, and I knew nothing about any of them anyway. So, I decided to vote for the Republicans most likely to lose in the General Election. As it turned out, neither of them could win in the Primary either.

Inertia vs. Friction

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Dear drivers of the Madison area,

While I can appreciate the urge for safe driving, there is safe and there is ridiculous. There seems to be quite a contingent of you who feel the need to apply the brakes every 30 seconds. Now, the brakes are a very vital and useful item. They are particularly helpful when:

*Approaching a yellow/red light.

*Coming up on a obsticle such as a stopped car, pedestrian, or wall.

*Making a sharpish turn.

However, for events such as going downhill or finding yourself 5 miles over the limit, you'll find it amazing how much one can slow down when one simply removes one's foot from the accelerator. It's a wonder of physics--something called "friction". You see, while objects in motion tend to stay in motion, the road is not perfectly smooth. Neither are your tires.

Try it sometime. Next time you are on a broad stretch of road, with no obstructions before you and you realize that you would like to be going just a wee bit less fast, take your foot off of the gas a bit but keep it off the damn brakes. Seriously. The people behind you will thank you for it. I know I will.

In a Jam

Well, it would seem that I let the jam cook a little too long. It is still quite tasty, but incredibly sticky-thick. The consistancy is more akin to the jam you find between shortbread cookies than to the jam you'd spread on your morning toast.

The taste is sweet and rather candy-like. I have found that it makes a wonderful sweetener for oatmeal. In fact, that may become its primary function.

Jam Session

This evening I walked down along the railroad tracks near my house and picked elderberries. I filled a gallon ice cream container, but much of that mass was stems. Picking elderberries is extremely easy, like picking flowers. There aren't even any pesky thorns with which to contend.

The next step, however, is a major pain. All those tiny little berries had to be pulled of the stems, and without leaving behind any tiny twigs or stick. It was tedious to the Nth degree.

When all was said and done, I had 2 cups of crushed berries with which to make jam. I had to cut the recipe down to: 2 cups crushed berries, 1.5 cups sugar, and .6 cup vinegar.

I think it went well. I was a little bit unsure if I was cooking it too much or not enough while waiting for it to thicken. I will taste test it tomorrow morning, after it has had a chance to thoroughly cool (and I'm in the mood for jam).

Between the black raspberries and the elderberries, I'm becoming quite the forager. I may have to go look for some wild grapes next. They're everywhere around here.


There is something deliciously strange about listening to Henryk Gorecki's hauntingly beautiful Symphony of Sorrowful Songs while simultaneously painting one's toenails a cheery lavender with gold glitter.

In Other News

My employment situation continues to suck eggs. The first pay period of the school year has only 12 days, and it looks like at the most, I will work 7....that is if I get work for the next 6 days. I've only gotten one day of work in so far, and that will be all the money I can get from the school district for the month of October. Subtract the two health insurance premiums and one dental for that time and it starts to look pretty grim.

I've got two smallish windfalls coming that were originally going to be used for my buy-a-house/fix-my-teeth funds, but that will only add about $300 to the pot. I need to find some ways to make a bit more cash until then, preferably legal. I've already gathered up a number of books and CDs and the like to sell, but that never brings in very much. I'm actually considering the selling plasma route, but considering how much grief I get from the Red Cross about my teeny tiny veins, I doubt that any of the plasma centers in town will like them any better.

Other ideas:

1. Become crazy bag lady, go on a massive aluminum can finding binge.

2. Step up my efforts to find babysitting jobs.

3. Have another yard sale. Market aggressively. Put out most of my belongings and much of my art.

4. Find a part-time job.

5. Win big money from a candy wrapper or soda can (those things have better odds than the lottery, and even if you lose, you still have a tasty snack).

The problem with option number 4 is that I have been actively looking for both full and part time work with very little success. At this point, full time work would have to be more interesting and better paying than subbing to be worth it, and part time work would have to work around my teaching schedule.

I had one PT job lined up, as a "line therapist" with autistic children. Workwise, it dovetails nicely with my teaching. Unfortunately, I can't guarantee that I will be done with school before 4 PM on any given day and that was too late for them. Many PT jobs want you around during regular business hours or late at night. Late at night is no good for me, since I have to be up at 6 to start my day for teaching. The latest I'd want to work (unless it was babysitting) is 9 PM on a school night, and that is pushing it. Ideally, I'd like something that goes from 4:30-8:30 a couple nights a week.

So, I guess this is where networking comes in. If you or anyone you know needs something done during those hours, or needs occasional babysitting, feel free to let me know.

Sing it, sister.

Choral Union auditions were tonight, and I made it in again. We will be doing Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem this semester. I'm looking forward to it. I imagine that after the insanity that was Voices, this will seem like a relaxing walk in the park.

Comments and Suggestions

Now that I've opened the comments again, I'd love to hear people's opinions about the gallery store. Images you would like to see (or not see) on products, and possibly even products that you would like to see or not see. And don't hold back on critisism, either. For that matter, any opinions on the galleries themselves are also welcome.

Back in the Game

I got my first subbing assignment this morning, albeit a late one. I got called around 10 AM, but since this job started before lunch, I still will be paid for a full day. The school was one that was close by, so I was able to get there on my bike--which is a good thing since it is still in the shop until tomorrow.

Some people at the school recognized and remembered me, including the secretary (make friends with the secretaries, folks). There was a new principal, which was also nice, since I didn't care much for the old one.

Among the students I saw today, one of them was from "my class" at my other local grade school from last year. He must have moved. I said hi to him in the lunchroom, and asked him how he liked his new school. He seemed pretty happy as a brand new first grader. He was a fun little kindergartener. When I walked away, I heard him tell the boy sitting next to him "She used to teach at my other school."

I know that not every day will be sunshine and light, but lord is it nice to be back!

One More Sticking Time

Oh goody. I'm so excited. Once again, the clutch on my Jeep has decided that it won't fucking work. Hoorah. Of course, it didn't do this last week, when I still wasn't having to teach or even go anywhere. No, it starts acting up this Saturday morning--Labor Day weekend, when I've got stuff to do and was hoping to have work on Tuesday.

I was able to get it to the Farmer's Market and back, by turning the car off in order to put it into reverse. I bummed a ride from friends for the things I needed to do that evening. Yesterday I just stayed home. Today, when I decided to try and meet some people at Bratfest I couldn't even get it into reverse when the engine was off, and it took both hands and some mighty pushing to get the stick to move at all. I really hope that I will be able to get the car to the garage tomorrow morning without needing a tow.

The teeny, tiny bright side of this is that since this is the exact same problem that has been recurring ever since they replaced the clutch (as opposed to some brand new pain), I'm probably not going to have to pay anything to get it repaired. (The mechanics may just start crying, though.) Still, I'd really rather that it just stay fixed. I may not have to pay for the repairs themselves, but the frequent loss of my transportation costs me quite a bit.


My deepest sympathies go out to the limboist and his family.

I am now available for occasional babysitting--evening and weekend sort of stuff. I've been substitute teaching since 2001, and I've also got experience with special needs kids. I'm a reliable non-smoker with a car, and while I haven't gotten either of my certifications renewed, I've had Red Cross training in CPR and First Aid. Plus I'm tons of fun! :)

I imagine that I'll put up fliers and whatnot, but I may as well start putting the word out one way or another, so this is as good a place as any to do that.

Just dropping by... report that today seems to be a perfect day. Also, frozen bananas and Magic Shell are a beautiful combination.

Conversation or spam?


I'm considering opening the comments again. I like being able to have a dialog with people who read this. However, I had discovered that I was getting very few real comments and tons of comment spam. I attempted to put a filter on the comments to stop the spam, but it was too much for my wee little brain to handle at the time, so I just set the comment default to closed.

So, if I reopen the comments, will it be worth it?


Last night I re-watched the scariest Buffy episode ever. Actually, I watched it twice: once regular and once with commentary. Do you have any idea how hard it is to sleep after that?


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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