Friday, February 27, 2009

8 Things Friday

1. Backdating this slightly because I only remembered I needed to write this once it was already two minutes into Saturday. (No worries, I can sleep waaaay in tomorrow.) Whoops.

2. Knit Night is now called Weekly Fiber. This is mildly (stupidly) punny, and therefore amuses me, and it also encompasses more crafts than just knitting. Fiber can mean yarn, thread, fabric, even paper. (And I'll bet they have bran muffins in the coffee shope where we meet.) If you live near me and want to hang out and do something crafty on Wednesday nights, come join us!

3. Look at the wonderful gift of awesomeness Jen made me!


It's a little clutch purse! But wait, what's that text on the outside?


SHE HAD FABRIC PRINTED WITH MY NOVEL'S MAIN CHARACTER'S SIGNATURE ON IT!!! Isnt' that the coolest thing you've ever heard of?

(Way to make me feel guilty for not writing on it for over a month. :P)


Inside are pockets exactly the right size for holding my cell phone, my clippers and file and lip gloss, and another little regular "tube o' lip balm" pocket, which I would use if I had anything I liked in regular tube form.


A lovely matching wallet!

I had to pare down quite a lot from what I usually carry in my purse. No checkbook (which I never really used when I was out anyway; just to pay mail-in bills), no daytimer (which is actually last year's still and I don't know why I was carrying it around). No pack of gum, little bottle of lotion, little bottle of hand sanitizer. No tissues, no ridiculous amount of "value cards" and the like, no punch cards I never used, no business cards I don't know why I have. No room for trash. I've been carrying this as my only "purse" for over a week now, and I actually rather like it! It's something to get used to, not being able to cram a book and a bottle of water and a bunch of papers and a snack into my purse along with all the other junk, but I'm sure it's better for my back, to not carry around extra weight on one shoulder. And I feel very hip and on-the-go, or something. Huzzah new purse! Jen, you are awesome!

4. So much for "February is for The Office" in the way of house cleaning. I didn't do a thing in there all month, and February's gone now. *Sigh* I don't know why. Technically, I had time. I just spent it doing other things. However, I have kept up on the laundry and dishes pretty well, and I'm proud of myself for that! And not that this is very much of an excuse, but I'm still sort of adjusting to having a class and homework. Not LOTS of homework, but more than the nothing I've been used to the past couple years. Between all that, work, and a little bit of travel this month, The Office still looks as scary as it did at the end of January. I suppose we'll see how March goes!

5. In case you're not on Facebook, I took the PRAXIS 1 exam on Thursday, after studying math and studying math and studying math all the week before. UGH. I didn't remember anything I'd ever learned in a math class, but once I read over it in the study guide, I would think, "Oh yeah, I remember that now," for most of it. (I didn't study the reading and writing sections because I didn't need to. I skimmed them to get an idea of what those sections would be like, but that's all.) Anyway, it's ALL OVER now, YAY! Hopefully (fingers crossed) I never have to do math again!!! Figuring a tip, I can do. Finding what 20% off of a discounted item makes it, I can do. Beyond that? No thank you!

I got my reading and math scores right away, but the writing portion will have to be hand-graded since it was half multiple choice and half essay, which a computer can't grade. I needed a 173 in each section to pass and get into the teaching program, and I got 184 on reading and 181 on math! (Is it really tacky to post your test scores on your blog? Whatever.) I maybe could've taken a little more time on the reading to go back over a few questions, since I got it done in about half the allotted time, but oh well. I just wanted to get it overwith. And about 10 questions out of 46 I just GUESSED on the math section. I knew what it wanted, I just didn't know how to make an equation to get there. Oh well. I DID IT and IT'S OVER and that's all that matters!

6. I downloaded the Dan In Real Life soundtrack the other day, and I heart it muchly. Such a good movie! Sometimes I wanted to smack the whole family, just because of how adorable and cliche it is--everyone goes up to the cabin by the sea at the end of summer and they do group aerobics in the morning, go on walks, to the crossword together... *gag!*--but other than that I liked it a lot, and decided I needed the soundtrack. I don't remember the whole thing from the DVD extras, but it was something like they hired this guy and his band to do the whole soundtrack, and they just hung out in the cabin where most of the movie was filmed and played and wrote music for like two weeks, and then they had the whole soundtrack! It was awesome. I love that guy's voice, and the main female vocal lead as well. Just... the whole sound. If anyone would like the soundtrack, email me.

7. For the Day of Noseblowing (Thursday after the PRAXIS), I got a box of tissues with a bold, graphic print of PEARS all over it.


This, for some reason, makes me ridiculously happy. It's so cute! (Since then, the cold medicine had kicked in and stayed in, so I can breathe through my nose once more, and I'm not dying of sinus pressure.)

8. I really should take my Valentine decorations down. *Sigh*

Monday, February 23, 2009


A while ago on my old journal, I posted "Ta-da's" for a bit. Basically you list five things you accomplished that day, no matter how big or small. If you want, you can post one or two things you want to accomplish for the next day, too. So since I have nothing of note to update about, nor any pictures (still!) I'll do that.

1. I did dishes, both by hand and in the dishwasher.

2. I washed two loads of laundry. CRAP, I just realized I left the second one in the dryer. Better run down and grab it!

(Whew, okay.)

3. I cooked dinner, and it had three food groups! Starch, meat, and veggies.

4. I helped at customer service kind of a lot, since they were busy and I wasn't, in my department.

5. I started my homework. (This technically isn't a Ta-da yet because it's not done, but it will be very soon, and other than work, I barely did anything today which means I barely accomplished anything.)

Tomorrow: Finish the stupid practice test of horribleness from Section 2 so I can do 3 and 4 on Wednesday. AUGHHH test on Thursday aughhhhhhhh!

Friday, February 20, 2009

8 Things Friday

1. I am up too stinking early! I have a doctor appointment at 8am, which means to get there (cleeeeeeeear across town) I need to leave in about ten minutes. Sigh. So I'll write on this for a while, then come back to it later this morning.

2. I woke up from a sort of good dream. Matt and I got to go to Hawaii, but only if I got the whole house really clean, first. Also, he wasn't Real Life Matt, he was acting like a too-controling, mean husband in a book I was reading. So that wasn't cool. But: Hawaii! Unfortunately the alarm went off right as we arrived on the island.

3. Why are people lazy? I know I can't talk--look at my house--but seriously! About simple little things. I "win" the contest at work every two weeks about who can sell the most in protection plans because I'm one of about three people (from eight or nine) who updates my totals on the board every day. If the totals aren't on the board, it doesn't count. So every two weeks, I get a $10 gift card to somewhere--the movie theater, Starbucks, a fast food place--by drawing options from a hat. But it's SO EASY! I know the people I work with could get past their goal, too! (You have to have a certain amount to be counted at all.) I understand, maybe, that the part-timers who only work 10 hours a week don't feel like it matters if they put their total up since they can't compete with the full-timer (me) or the other part-timers who work almost full-time hours. But come on! It's such an easy $10!

4. Mmmmmm coffeeeee.... My most recent $10 gift card was to Starbucks. On the way back from my appointment this morning, I stopped by and got my usual. I used to work there, so I know how to "work the system," i.e. get the best stuff for cheap. I like flavored iced lattes (espresso and milk), but don't want to pay $3+ for one. Instead, I get an iced Americano (ice, water, and espresso shots) but I don't get any water so I can cover the ice and shots with milk from the little crafes. That way it's LIKE getting an iced latte, but not paying for the milk! So I order a Tall Iced Americano (two shots) in a Grande cup (more room for ice and milk) with two pumps of whatever flavor I fancy (Toffee Nut, lately). Half the time they don't even charge me for the flavor since I only get two pumps. (More is too sweet.) It's either $2.05 without flavor or $2.35 with. Ta-da! Now you know how to cheat, too!

5. Sorry I haven't been posting pictures lately. I know blogs can get boring with just text, text, and more text. (Although I have posted some silly videos...) I just don't have much worth taking pictures of. I've finished a few baby hats, so I suppose I could show those off. But I haven't been doing any other crafting, nor have I gone shopping for anything besides groceries. Ooh, I did get a red wrap dress at Gap for FIVE DOLLARS a few days ago! Maybe I'll post that.

6. I didn't do any more than a body test (weight, BMI, general balance) on the Wii Fit for over a week, but yesterday I did the full body test (the usual plus two specific balance tests) and worked out for 15 minutes. I need to get back up to 30 minutes a day, seriously. Although I'm very proud of us for still eating somewhat healthily. (Is that a word?) Three meals a day, and very few snacks unless it was fruit or something like Wheat Thins. We haven't had candy or cookies in the house for more than a month, except for the cookies I made last week, and I sent some of those away with Ann. Go us! And when it gets warmer out, I want to start taking walks again.

7. I'm (apparently) really fond of parentheticals today!

8. For entry into the teaching program, I have to take and pass the PRAXIS 1 test, which I'm taking next Thursday morning. It's in three sections: Reading, Writing, and Math. I always do excellent on reading, and I do well on writing, but, as will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, I do just decent on math. (Or sometimes slightly less than decent.) Luckily, there's a really good study book I can use. Unluckily, there's only one available to check out at the college library, and it won't be back before I need to take the test. Luckily, there's one on hold, which means it can be used IN the library for two hours at a time. Not only does it help you with strategies to take the test quickly and efficiently, it "reminds" you of all the general math skills you'll need to pass. (And reading and writing skills, but I don't really need to review those.)

I couldn't remember how to do long division until I looked at the "reminder" in the book. *Sigh* So very sad. But I've had a calculator to do all that stuff since I learned how in about third grade! Anyway, I know how to now. In truth, I DID know how to do all the stuff that was reviewed in Section 1, I just had to go over it and remember it, get it to the front of my brain, instead of shoved in the back of the bottommost drawer like it's been for the past, oh, ten years. So I relearned how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and decimals. I remembered how to do ratios, and how to read simple graphs. I took lots of notes, too!

I photocopied the Section 1 practice test and will take that tonight (and time it). Then tomorrow, when I'm off work, I'll go back to the library for another two-hour study session and work on Section 2 (of 4 total). Sections 3 and 4 will both have to be Wednesday, which is my next day off.

All I have to do is pass, I keep telling myself that. Not ace it, not know how every single thing works. Just pass. I also keep reminding myself that it's only 40 questions long. That's not bad at all. I can deal with 40 questions. (And if the worse comes to worst, I can retake JUST the math section of the test to get a better score, instead of doing all three over again.)

P.S. Danielle: One of the profs in the panel last week actually mentioned They Say, I Say, but said she didn't use it in class anymore. Can't remember why. It does sound interesting to at least look through, though. I'll bet the lecture from its authors was interesting.

P.P.S. Sarah: I do indeed have a knitting club. (Well, I don't have it, but I go to it and sort of came up with the idea to have it weekly.) As you've probably seen on my FB, it's every Wednesday night at 7pm at Trader's Coffee on 7th and Patterson. Stop by if you'd like, bring friends, kids, whatever! If you (or they) don't knit, bring something else crafty.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ice Skating Adventure

The adventure began by not being able to find the place! I wanted to go ice skating with my sweetie on Valentine's Day, so I'd been on the rink's website checking their hours, rates, etc. I did a Google Maps search and got directions from my house. We got close, then.... went way past where it was supposed to be. Turned around--on the street it was supposed to be on!--and still didn't see it. Kept on going wayyyy down that street... and it was on the opposite side of town from what Google told me! Had they MOVED? What was going on? I was mad at Google. Sheesh.

Anyway, we got there at last. There was a line out the door onto the sidewalk; now we know not to come on a Saturday night. We were the oldest ones there but for about five other people, and some moms dropping their 10-year-old girls off. Teenyboppers galore! (I had a professor once that called the overly-made-up, skintight-clothes-wearing tweens "prostitots," and we saw a few last night.)

We both started off shaky. I've only been ice skating twice, ever, and Matt hadn't gone since he was really young. We scooted along the edge for a while, then held hands, but after Matt complained of "dragging around a dead weight" I shoved him away and did fine. We stopped once to relace our skates a little tighter since both our ankles were feeling wobbly, and we didn't want to twist or sprain anything. About half an hour in, Matt said he needed to either take a break or be done, but I was still having fun, so I did a few more rounds.

Then I'm not sure what happened. The ice was pretty "torn up" or whatever you'd call it, crossed with deep lines, chunks taken out here and there by an errant toe pick. And I think I was going a little too fast for my skill level (or lack thereof). All of a sudden I did a nosedive, slid a couple of feet, and lay still. I hit my knees so hard that when I looked at them five minutes later, bruises were already forming. My hat nearly flew off from the impact. And of course I'd dressed all cutesy in a pink sweater and a long skirt (and my purple flannel bloomers!). I rolled over, fixed my skirt, and sat up.

By that time, a nice young man in a "uniform" (a blue hoodie with the rink's logo on it) skated over and asked if I was all right. He helped me up (which is good, because there's no way I would've made it up on my own!) and asked if I needed help to the exit. I stood there a second and decided I would be fine. Knees throbbing (but the rest of me okay except for being covered in melting ice shavings), I wobbled over to the exit. Matt was sitting in the little bleachers and came to meet me. HE MISSED THE WHOLE THING! It was really an EPIC wipeout, and he missed it! So we sat down and I told him what happened, and laughed, and got a drink of water. Then we decided we'd had enough.

I was doing so well, too! The first time I ever went skating, I fell twice. The second time, I fell once. Hence, I should've fallen ZERO times last night, right? Nope. EPIC WIPEOUT. And nobody (i.e. Matt) even saw it!

I would like to go again, though, once my knees feel better. And maybe on, like, a Thursday morning or something, when the place isn't overrun with punk kids. Anyone in town up for a trip sometime?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines' Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

8 Things Friday

1. I know I missed last Friday, but I was visiting my mom and my aunt from Idaho, who had come to stay with my mom for about a week. I didn't even bring my laptop! (Though I did use Mom's to check my email and Facebook a few times.)

2. I am sooooooo fullllll of Red Lobster food! Matt's mom sent us a gift card along with a Valentine's Day card. Thanks, CJ!

3. I'm still loving the rag curlers! Yesterday, after just wearing my rag-curled hair down with a hairband to work the previous day, I put it up.




I really liked it! I can see myself doing this a lot this summer when it's hot; the bandana will keep all my hair off my neck, my hair's not in my face, and having a clip with bobby pins tucking the curls down to hide it doesn't make my hair feel too heavy at the back of my head. I wore it a good eight hours and was fine. I still want to work on the little "pompadour" poof at the front. I think I might need some kind of styling... mousse, maybe? Spray? Any thoughts? I'd lik a bit bigger of a poof.

4. I'm still really enjoying my class. I STILL have two or three short-ish readings to catch up on and take notes in my log book, but... I'll get there. This last class was a "panel" of writing professors talking about how they teach and why they teach that way. I have about three FULL pages of notes, and it was interesting to hear these professors I'd had when I was earning my English degree (I'd had 4 out of the 6) talk about the way they taught. Some of them were very different from the others, some were the same, but the reasoning behind all of it made sense. And now that I think about it, a lot of the advice was really just common sense--be flexible because what works for one class may not work for another; start simple and go toward complex--but hearing it articulated and out loud made it sink in. I have a lot to work with even after that one session, to decide how to teach in my own classroom someday!

5. You should all go look at Jen's fabulous (nearly) finished "charm" quilt! I'm so in awe! It seems really simple, but looks pretty time-consuming. However, if I were ever to make a quilt, I think I could make one like that. I love how the colours just POP against the white background! And it looks so vintage-y, like the quilts women used to make out of, literally, whatever they had laying around, since that was all they could afford! (If you couldn't tell by my hair, I'm getting into the 1940s lately! All the WWII stuff about being thrifty and "V for Victory!" even in hairstyles, and such.)

6. I believe I mentioned that I taught our friend Liz to knit when we were visiting her and her fiance last month. Here we are:


She's working on a cotton washcloth and I'm working on a baby hat. (See note below.)

Recently, I've also taught Jen from work to knit. (I know a A LOT of Jennifers. Jen from work, Jen from Florida, Jen from California who was formerly from Florida, and Jen my cousin. Anyone who reads my Facebook will now know that they are taking over the world.) I love sharing the knitting joy, especially when the "student" really seems to love it and just takes off learning stitch patterns and various skills on their own! I'm not sure how Liz is doing, but Jen from work seems to still like it!

7. My camera was so full as of yesterday's hair photo-shoot that it would not hold any more photos! WOW. So I dragged everything into a "clean-out" folder to sort through later.

8. I got the entire series of Gilmore Girls on DVD for Christmas from Mom and Dad and have not watched a single episode yet! I think I shall go remedy that tonight. Yay knitting and Gilmore Girls. (Speaking of knitting, I should take pictures of all the baby hats I've made in the past few weeks! I did tell you I know 6 pregnant women, one of them having twins, yes? And they're all due either this summer or this fall.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


"I'm her mom."

"No... she's not!"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

You've got to admit it's getting better

Oy, I just used a song title for the subject line of this post. Sorry.

It's February! I know it's been February for just over a week now, but I was thinking about this the other day.

February is so much better than January. The weather's usually just as crummy, but you start thinking that maybe, just maybe, Spring could eventually be on its way. (Especially with all these recent warm spells of 60 and 70 degrees in places where it's usually realy cold this time of year!)

The worst of the "Ohmygosh bills!" about Christmas is over, as well as the late Christmases some people have when they can't see their family on Christmas. People who are on top of things (like us) have their taxes already done, and are waiting for their return. (Ours is going to pay for my class, wheee.)

Some people have fudged on their diet and/or workout routine, but at this point in the year, they're being more reasonable about what they can really accomplish. Working out 5 times a week instead of every single day, and treating themselves to an occasional yummy dessert instead of not eating anything with extra calories.

Students and teachers are getting into a rhythm with class and homework and extracurricular stuff. Spring break is still at least a month away, but that's really only 5 school days per week, times five or six weeks. (I'm still catching up for my class, but getting closer!)


January in my house was the month for Laundry. (It required a capital L.) I took three loads (mostly towels, socks, and underwear) down to Mom and Dad's this weekend. Mom offered her machines since she knows I have to pay $2 a load here, and I took her up on it! So now the pile in the office is much more manageable! I still have rather a lot of cold wash stuff to do, but I'll get there soon. It looks likely that I'll have Tuesdays and Thursdays off work for a while because of my class in the mornings, which is fine with me. I love having a couple "catch-up" days at home in the middle of the week.

February is going to be for The Office. Not the TV show, but the disaster area that is our second bedroom. There are a lot of old papers to go through, dishes to excavate and put in the dishwasher, trash to be thrown out, and craft stuff to be organized. Once we have a floor in there, I can tackle the Craft Closet of Doom (which is in The Office). Depending on how long The Office takes (i.e. depending on how many days I have off when I can stay at home and organize), the Closet might have to wait til March. We'll see. I know I COULD get this stuff done a lot sooner, but not rushing myself, giving myself plenty of time to clean and organize, doesn't make me feel overwhelmed. And when I feel overwhelmed, I'm more likely to not start at all.

If I can get The Office and The Closet done this month, March will be for The Bedroom. *Shudder*

Friday, February 06, 2009

ATTN: No More House Phone

As of today, our home phone number is no longer functional. The only calls we ever got on it were telemarketers, and the occasional call from work. There was no point in paying for it if we didn't use it, so we cancelled it. So from here on out, don't call that number! If you need my cell number (or Matt's,) email me and I'll send it to you.

Aww crap, I just realized we need to go through all our bill places and change the number on our records. *Sigh* Why can't anything be easy?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I'm a Huge Nerd

But we already knew that, yes?

I love love love my class. I love being in school. I love discussions and taking notes and raising my hand. I like walking around on campus (the "old" part of it) with the big old trees and brick buildings, and even the ugly sculptures. Being among fellow students. I think all this theory about ways of teaching and grading and learning is so interesting.

There's rather a bit more work to catch up than I first thought, but I have Thursday-Saturday off this week. (One more day of work and then I'm FREE for three days, thank goodness!) Mostly I underestimated the amount of reading, since there's not much to turn in. But oh well, I like to read. And what I've read so far is really interesting, if a bit dry at times. Reading all of this when I'm not super tired at the end of the day would probably make it less sleep-inducing. Still, I'm getting a lot out of it, I think.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Officially a College Student Once More

Forgive me if this is incoherent, it's been a freaking long day, and I'm exhausted.

Friday, I met with the PBL (post-baccalaureate licensure) lady at the college to see what I needed to do in order to get accepted into the program. Besides the usual application stuff, I need to take the PRAXIS I within the next few weeks, get myself fingerprinted, and resign myself to the idea of doing 40+ hours of online classes all summer.

Yup, the "intensive" PBL that will let me earn a teaching certificate in three semesters--summer, fall, spring--is a lot more online classes than I thought. In fact, there's nothing on campus all summer, which makes sense; school's out over the summer! (Duh. I don't know why I was thinking I'd be on campus.) We'll meet three times this summer for three straight days, then do about three weeks of e-learnings in between. OY. Needless to say, I can't work full time and do school more than full-time, but this will hopefully be okay since I can hopefully get some monetary support in grants and loans. (Hopefully.)

This means: classes all summer, a couple more classes and classroom observation in the fall, then student teaching in the spring. Wheeeee!

But! Even though I have a BA in English Writing, I'm missing two classes which are necessary to the teaching program there. One of them I'm pretty sure I can take this fall. (I need to email that professor, actually, to make sure.) And one of them is only offered in the spring, and I can't take "how to teach composition" (I can't remember the official name) WHILE I'm teaching composition during my student teaching. So I went down to campus today, talked to the professor teaching it, and she let me in two weeks late! (I've only missed four class days, since it's a Tues/Thurs class.) I still need to track down one book, and catch up with some reading, and it would be great to get together with another student and go over their classroom notes with them to catch up.... but I'm in!

I needed to adjust my work schedule a little bit, but it's fine. 9:30-10:45 every Tuesday and Thursday isn't a big deal. And it looks like I don't have a TON of catching up to do, though she does seem big on taking notes on every bit of assigned reading. These will all be in a portfolio which is (I think) 35% of our grade at the end of the semester.

Good heavens, wish me luck! Pray for me! Etc! It'll be hectic for a week or two, especially since I hate change and hate thinking about change, arghhh! But then I'll settle into a rhythm and it'll be fine.

And I am kinda excited to be in school again.