Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Twice today, I heard on the radio that the politicians think we're all in this financial crisis together.
Sure, "we're" all suffering the consequences right now, but I am for damn sure not in this with everyone else. Adam and I have owned two houses - we bought little, old houses, that were charming, and most importantly, that we could AFFORD.
Novel concept, I know. Pay back what you owe. Since we got married, we had a little credit card debt, but guess what: It's paid off!
I feel like we've done everything right. We don't live beyond our means. Yes, we buy some stuff we don't really need (see: Wii Party 1). But, overall, we are pretty careful about spending money. And even though we've lived right, I know eventually we'll get screwed in this deal somehow. Those of you who are more well-informed than I, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, comment if you disagree, whatever. But, I just feel like my tax money should be spent on things like great schools, public services like fire and police, and good roads (I am from Kansas - we expect pristine roadways around here...), NOT to bail out giant companies who got themselves in this mess.
Maybe those in charge of the corporations should dig into their personal savings accounts, severance packages, 401Ks, and contribute some of those millions to the cause!
Everybody knows where I stand on the whole Obama/McCain issue, but I did hear Obama say something today that I disagree with. He made an analogy that if your neighbor's house was on fire, you would just grab the hose and start fighting the fire, not blaming them for always leaving the stove on or smoking in bed. To me, that analogy doesn't fit here. It's not even in the same ballpark.
This is obviously failed economic policy. What happens now? I could care less about the jerks who got us into this mess, but what about all the rank and file employees who could lose their jobs? Lose their retirement accounts? What about those of us who have done the right thing economically, but will still be swept up in this mess?
Do Adam and I need to get our garden growing next spring so we can feed ourselves and have food to barter?
The "economic crisis" hasn't had a huge effect on our daily lives yet (except for high gas prices) but I think I really am starting to worry about what's going to happen. Last night, I lay awake for about two and a half hours. Is that nagging stress trying to tell me something?
Why do the people who are elected to represent us and protect us allow things like this to happen?
Monday, September 29, 2008
What happens tonight when I want to watch Dancing With the Stars, Chuck, Big Bang Theory, AND How I Met Your Mother?
We can only watch/tape two show at once. Plus, Adam will want to watch Monday Night Football.
Looks like he'll be watching football in one of the bedrooms, I'll be watching "Dancing With the Stars" in the other bedroom, and the DVR will be taping Chuck, Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Those are the shows we both like to watch, so that's what we'll tape and watch together at a later date.
THEN, Tuesday night - "Biggest Loser." On at the same time as "Dancing With the Stars."
Wednesdays, ABC has decided to bring back "Pushing Daisies," which is a great little show I got into last year before the blasted writer's strike. That's the good news. The bad news is that now, CBS has moved "New Adventures of Old Christine" to the same time slot. Again, a double-shot on the DVR.
Good thing I've kissed off Grey's, since Earl and "The Office" are on Thursday nights.
God, I watch too much TV. I've got to squeeze my Wii Fit time in here somewhere. Good thing I get up at 5 a.m. every day.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
He finally came up with a plan for our storage, and that plan allows us to get the car in the double-car garage! That's one huge thing I missed during the Year of Living Apartmentally. My car was always garaged at our house in Wichita, and on cold winter mornings, it was really nice not to have to scrape ice and snow off the windows.
We moved everything out of the playhouse, swept and cleaned it out, and then put all of our lawn and garden stuff in it.
I was hot, sweaty, and not thinking straight, so I didn't shoot a photo before we moved all of the junk out, but here's a few photos of it all cleaned out.
Apparently my cousin Sara and I liked to use quotation marks in our youth. Crazy to think that those two autographs have been there for 20 years. Depending on when that was written, we would have been 11. I don't remember what we played in the playhouse, but we were in it a lot. I think we probably played school, and house (there was an old wooden ironing board in the very back of the playhouse when we cleaned it out). And, I guess we liked to write on the walls.
I wish that the wood was more preserved. You can tell from years of neglect and lack of fresh coats of paint, that the old playhouse is starting to look like those old abandoned houses and barns you see on the prairie.
That fence and building on the other side of the window is the neighbor's yard and garage. I'm not sure how old the playhouse is, but it's been there as long I can remember being at Grandma's. Maybe Grandpa built it for Julie? I don't think it was there when the older kids were little, but I'm sure one of them can post here to let us know.
There was a giant fluff ball in the back left corner. Probably a mice nest. Luckily, when I swept it up, nothing jumped out at me.
Here's the after photos:
Obviously, having the lawn furniture in there takes up quite a bit of space, but I don't want to leave that wood furniture out in the winter weather again. It'll need to be stained next spring, anyway.
I think next weekend I need to get all of the lawn stuff cleaned and ready to store over the winter, but it's nice just to have it organized. (Hopefully that organization will magically move INSIDE the house pretty soon!)
Okay, now I'm back.
I'm so done with this show. How can a show that was once so good have gotten so bad? I mean, I used to sit on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, hoping the show wouldn't end as the end credits rolled.
Now, I sit on the edge of my seat because I'm afraid I might have to run to the bathroom and throw up!
Seriously - Cristina gets hit by a falling icicle (granted, a GIANT falling icicle) and she dreams of her and Meredith as old maids living together? How could they have even filmed that scene without cheese oozing out of their mouths? It was ridiculous. Maybe I just hate it when young actors are made up to look very old, because it never seems anything but cheesy to me, I don't know. But that was pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back.
Not even hot-Army-guy-who's-so-hard-core-he-gave-himself-staples would keep me coming back for more of this crap. At the end of last season, when Meredith built her house of candles for McDreamy, I KNEW it wouldn't last. I knew the first show of this season would be her freaking out about making a commitment. It's what she does, and I'm tired of watching it and listening to it.
Do the writers of this show have to make everyone on it (especially the women) into bumbling idiots because of romantic entanglements? The scrub nurse who was so good at her job that every doctor wanted her in their OR "accidentally" cuts Derek with a scalpel? She's so flabbergasted by the fact that he chose Meredith (she's surprised by this?! Has she not seen them around the hospital?) that she can't do her job properly?
I've written about this before - that I don't like how they write the women on the show. It's really a stereotypical, somewhat offensive look at these characters, who are supposed to be so smart that they're in a surgical program. Alas, I guess they're not as smart as they thought, since their program is the now the 12th best in the country. If the people who wrote those ratings knew about all the sex the staff is having in the rooms in the hospital, or the crap that Izzy pulled, they'd probably be ranked 99th!
The best part of the show was the chief's speech at the end. I wish I could coach my yearbook and newspaper staffs like that! Or, more importantly, maybe he needs to give that speech to the writers and producers of the show!
Dear Grey's Anatomy,
I'm over you. Get over yourself. I think you've jumped the shark.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I'm going to watch the season premiere tonight, since I'm home without anything else to do, but I need to decide whether or not I'll stick it out for another season.
I don't think I can take Meredith and Derek's crap any more. I'm over it.
Plus, I love "My Name is Earl" and I noticed that it didn't record last night because I had too many shows set.
We're going to Manhattan for the KSU game again tomorrow. This will be a weekend from hell. I've got to write two papers for my grad school class, and grade a BUNCH of stuff.
I think I'll try to work on the papers on the way to the game. Mom and Dad are driving, so that'll be two hours of time I COULD spend on work. The grading will have to wait until Sunday. Bets and Mitzi and I will be having the second annual (okay, the first was just last week) PANERA GRADEFEST '08 on Sunday. You might think we wouldn't get anything done when we're all three there together, but we get a lot more done there than we do when we're alone at our respective houses. No TV to distract, no random housework to distract.
It's like it makes you want to get in, get the grading done, get out.
I'm going to watch Grey's now - don't want to be up all night long.
PS - Can't believe I almost forgot...We got a new piece of Wii equipment...be on the lookout for a possible Wii Movie post part two in the next week or so!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Consumers must have realized it as well, since the cereal is on sale for 75 cents at Big Lots.
Betsy and Mitzi and I went to Big Lots last weekend, because Bets had a crafting 911 - she needed more red or purple beads for her college gameday earrings. We were working on some craft projects and we didn't want to stop right in the middle.
Thank God the new house is just a two-minute drive to Big Lots...You can't just run in and out of Big Lots, so of course we looked around at all the big lots. I should have kept my camera out the whole time. I think I could've written a story using photos from the store.
Hmmmmm. Maybe if I get desperate for blog content one of these days, I'll try that.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Baytown teacher stocks up on free MREs, stirs up cyberworld. Here's an excerpt:
Michelle Homer / KHOU.com
Jacki Steinhauer is one of the lucky ones. She has no damage at her Deer Park home, she has power and she doesn't have to work since her school is closed.
"Life is great after a hurricane when nothing really happened to your house!" Steinhauer says in her blog, "The Secret Life of an Uninteresting Teacher."
The most recent entries brag about all of the free MREs she's been eating -- MREs that are meant for hurricane victims who have no food because they have no power. Some of those victims have no homes.
The teacher has it down to a science, according to her blog: "I got Schlotsky's today for lunch and went again to the courthouse in Baytown to get my water, ice, and food. This time, there were different meals, but hopefully as good as the others. Then, i came home, emptied my trunk and then headed off for the Deer Park POD (Point of Delivery)."
"I think that I am falling in love with MREs. They are pretty darn good. I went around 5:30 to go get more MREs and actually got another box of real MREs, water, and ice," Steinhauer wrote on Wednesday. "Right now, I have five cases of water, two 20 pound bags of ice, four 10 pound bags of ice, and four boxes of MREs."
While stocking her pantry and frig with taxpayer-funded freebies, Steinhauer has become quite the MRE connoisseur.
Nothing like this little heart-warmer to restore your faith in the goodness of humankind.
I hate that she's a teacher. Being a teacher has nothing to do with her acting like a jackass, stealing from those who really need help right now, and being stupid enough to post it for the world to see, but there will be other jackasses out there who will somehow turn this story into a "All teachers are idiots, we pay teachers too much...insert other ridiculous anti-education rhetoric here rant."
When the TV station first contacted her, she told them she didn't have a job - even though on her blog post it said "This is great. I don't have school and getting free food!"
One of the forum commenters probably said it best - karma will come back to bite this woman in the butt in a big way one of these days.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ah, the life of a schoolteacher - can't go out on school nights, must stay home and plan/grade papers/rest/watch TV. Good times.
Yes, I'm a day behind on "The Closer" - it aired last night. I fell asleep at 8 p.m. on the couch last night, and slept straight through until 5:30 this morning, except for the minute it took me to get off the couch, stop by the bathroom, wash my face, and crawl into bed.
Today we put the September issue of the paper to bed. During our first hour of newspaper (I teach two classes of newspaper) FOUR students were absent! I think we've been hit by the plague or something! One's home with strep, and I'm sure the other ones are in a similar state. Considering they've all been sharing keyboards and mouses (mice?) while working on pages this week, it's not surprising that we're all getting sick. I had to visit the school nurse this morning, for some cold medicine, since I forgot to bring my own.
She told me it was a good thing I got all that sleep last night - might help me fend off all the junk. I hope she's right!
All the sleep and the Sudafed must have done something for me, because I felt fine by the end of the day. Helped the editor get the pages FTPed to the printer, made it to my hair appointment on time, ran 4.5 miles, had Taco Tuesday at Margarita's, watched "The Closer" and now I'm blogging. I got an awful lot accomplished today, even when slightly under the weather. Maybe "The Secret" is actually working for me...
I'll be thinking "K-State crushes Louisville" all night tonight in my dreams so that I can use the law of attraction to the Cats advantage.
Nothing like a little Wildcat football in the middle of the week - gives you something to look forward to.
Sunday was Adam and Jill domestic bliss day - shopped for a few things we still need for the house, and FINally got a mirror hung up in the bathroom.
Yes, Eagle Eyes, you can still see a drywall patch up there by the light, and the trim and beadboard still had to be painted, but the bathroom sure does look more like a bathroom these days.
The next two pics aren't the most exciting things on the planet, but I've got to show some love for my mom, who made our cool new curtains for the laundry room.
Notice how I very smartly shot these photos so you can't see the piles of dirty clothes on the floor. And no, we don't normally keep a drill on the ironing board, but we had just finished hanging up the curtain rods.
Laundry isn't my favorite chore, but at least when I have to spend QT with the ironing board, the room is cheery!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
There you go.
Stacey brought Josh and Genevieve up for the weekend since it was a three-dayer. They arrived on Saturday, and got to go to Science City. Then, we pretty much chilled. We visited two of the three parks that are within five blocks of our house.
Pretty sure they liked the parks, but I'm guessing the walking-to-the-park part wasn't a huge hit. When we left the house Sunday morning, it was cool and cloudy, and within the hour we were at the playground, the sun came out and clouds burned off, so it was pretty warm on the walk home.
We had to do popsicles outside. No melty-melty on the new floors!
Saturday night we took Stacey and the kids to the T-Bones game. That's the first ball game I've attended in KC in a long time that actually had decent attendance. The park was almost full. We got really lucky - the weather was amazing that night.
We only made it through about four innings. I guess the whole "raised by Canadians" thing means Josh is a little more into hockey than baseball. He was pretty non-plussed by the whole deal, except for the dollar dogs and cotton candy!
(I'm sure at this point, Stacey would appreciate it if I include a disclaimer: Though it seems like her kids eat sugary junk all the time if you look at these photos, they so do not!)
I'm so glad they were able to come up here - it's nice to be able to spend time with friends we don't get to see anymore, and have it still feel the same way it always did, when we saw them every Friday night, practically.
Look for Visit from the little people, take 2, in the coming weeks. Allegedly, we'll have an Amy/Noah visit sometime soon, and Kat and L will be making an appearance in October...
No, it wasn't a snow day that kept us from working on Friday. But it was the weather.
I was all set to stay until about 5:30, get my desk cleaned off, get some grading done, get my ducks in a row for Monday. The newspaper editor was going over a few last minute pieces, since we ship on Tuesday afternoon.
About 4:30, we heard the ominous words, "Students and staff still in the building..." I thought it would be a warning that the fire alarms were being tested, and not to worry about the alarms. Nope, it was a tornado warning, so we all had to go to the basement locker rooms.
I had no idea the weather was that bad. I have no windows in my room, so once 7:45 a.m. hits, I'm clueless as to weather patterns until I leave in the evening. All I knew what that I was supposed to wait for a call from Adam, who would be picking me up a little after 5 p.m.
I don't know if you've been in any basement locker rooms lately, but the fact that they make such great tornado shelters means there is not one tiny bit of cellular service. I waited down there for a while, and finally went upstairs to call. It was crazy - the volleyball team, the freshman and sophomore football players, coaches, a few other teachers still crazy enough to be there at 5 on a Friday, and the administrators. After about 20 minutes, parents started to trickle in to pick up their kids. That was the only way students got to leave - they had to have a parent pick them up, since we're responsible for their well-being while at school.
My room and computer lab is a tornado shelter - any time we have a drill, a few classes come in to wait it out with my students. I guess it only works that way, though, when the building is full, since you can't fit 1,500 people in the locker rooms. (And you wouldn't want to - they're stinky enough already!)
The other teachers were ribbing me a little bit because as I left my room, I grabbed my keys, water bottle, and one of our point and shoot digital cameras. I knew there'd either be yearbook pictures to be made, or news photos to be made if the weather got really bad.
"Always the journalist!" They said.
As the newspaper editor and I were standing around all the other kids in the locker room, we were talking about how that event would be a perfect candidate for a news update on our website that we hope will be live by the end of the week.
Our first league football game of the season was also cancelled last night - rescheduled for 11 a.m. today. It's still a constant rain outside, so I wonder if it'll get pushed off again.
Adam and I grabbed some dinner and went over to eat with Dad. There's a basement there, but not at our house. This is good and bad - no great shelter, but like Adam said last night, at least we don't have to worry about our basement flooding. I looked at the photos on Kansas.com today, and I can't believe all the water down there. I know that our little house in College Hill wouldn't necessarily be UNDER water, but I'm sure there's some water in the basement right now.
Here's to all my friends in Doodah - I hope you're all dry, and okay, and Turn Around, Don't Drown!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Maybe Gracie is trying to tell me something?
Am I spending too much time on my computer?
I'm certainly not spending too much time blogging, lately. I think it's too much time doing work for my grad school class, lesson planning, grading, etc. Oh, and a tiny bit of Etsy last weekend. Betsy and I posted some tags, and I renewed a few items that have been on for a while but haven't sold.
Oh wait, I've been told I'm not supposed to talk about Betsy on here as much...
This photo actually reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite blogs, Crazy Aunt Purl. She's always posting photos of her cats, lying in weird places, or with funny things in the frames with them just by chance.
If you start seeing posts about the latest flavors of Cat Chow, or Whiskas, you'll know whose to blame.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I suppose it's nice of the studio to give all of the faculty free picture packets when they get photos taken, but really, what am I going to do with all of these photos?
The freebies do help us get more teachers to get their pictures taken for the yearbook, I think, but I wonder what they do with them all?
In other school news, I also forgot my lunch today, so I had to run out to McDonald's in the Wal-Mart two minutes away from school to grab some grub. Thank God it's close. Our 25 minute lunch break doesn't really give an opportunity for fancy-pants lunches out every day.
It's almost bedtime - it's a school night.
I used to love the song - back in the day.
I can't believe that someone would take all the time to do all of that cutting and synching the song and video.
Maybe he should make a video for the song "Too Much Time on My Hands."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Anyone who has kindly linked to my blog from theirs, could you please change your links to this address: http://web.me.com/adevault
or, try this link. Then, bookmark it!
There can me no "www" and there can be no ".mac" and there can be no "my blog."
The .mac part is because of the switch to MobileMe, and the my blog part is because I finally figured out why when someone RSSed to my blog, it listed it as "My Blog" and not "Pens & Needles." But when I changed that name, it changed the address. So sorry for the trouble.
So let's see what she's been up to (besides pulling her hair out over the MobileMe change.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Seriously, it's all she needs. Friends and family of Betsy - break out those Christmas and birthday lists - Amy has uncovered the secret to making Bets smile...
Monday, September 8, 2008
(That's Guitar Hero, not General Hospital, for the uninitiated among you.)
Unlike some people, whose houses still have messed up paint and unfinished bathroom beadboard, Betsy's house is all put together, so she was ready to host a party! We've still got a little work to do here at Casa de Chittum.
T-Pain and Amy check out the ol' Guitar Hero. Thankfully, Mitzi's guitar hero is almost like a traveling set, and she has two guitars!
We got to eat Egg Pie (Mitzi's quiche, renamed courtesy of TJ), orange Jell-O salad, an incredibly yummy bread and cheese concoction made by Amy, and some sort of ice cream sandwich Cool Whip dessert by Betsy. All of it was good - we need to do these dinner parties more often.
It's been a long time since we all just got together and chilled. Weird summer schedules, getting moved back into school rooms, school starting, etc., has pushed fun stuff to the back burner. Hopefully, we can get back in the routine!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
It was Fort Riley day at the game, so there was a special section of military folk, and a huge ceremony at the beginning. Most of the ceremony is stuff they do every game - read the Preamble to the Constitutions, say the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem (of course), and the patriotic fanfare song that the Pride of Wildcat Land plays, but this time, they also honored veterans of all branches of the military who were in attendance.
About halfway through the third quarter, the soldiers starting helping Willie with the traditional push-ups following K-State scores. By the end of the night, the mascot had done something like 500 pushups. Good thing the mascot nose is so big he doesn't actually have to go all the way to the ground...
Our seats were in Row 18, in the south endzone. One of the new teachers at school is a K-Stater, and he sold us his tickets because he and his wife weren't able to make it. Before the game, we "hatchbacked" in the grain science parking area. We packed a picnic so we could eat before we went into to the game. Since we weren't actually grilling, and there was only two of us, I told Adam I didn't think we could actually call it "tailgating."
You can see that it wasn't exactly blue skies, but the weather wasn't too bad. It rained the whole way to Manhattan, stopped for a while, and then right before halftime, it stared drizzling and raining a bit. Our Gore-Tex jackets kept us nice and dry.
I can't remember the last time I got to go to a game, so I was pretty excited. We're going again on Sept. 27th. Same deal on the tickets. At least that game is in the afternoon, so we won't have to come home quite so late!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
We just returned from a 4-mile run in a steady rain. According to all the meteorologists, even here in KC we're feeling the after-effects of Gustav, so I'll assume they're right and that's what we ran through tonight.
By the time we got back, our clothes were soaked and my hair was dripping, but the cool rain was a nice change from the 90-degree temps plus humidity that Stacey and I ran through Monday morning.
Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we finally got completely out of and cleaned out the ol' Dunes apartment. What does that mean?
No more Spitness Center.
No more stupid neighbors staying up until 3 a.m. right outside our door.
No more landscapers cutting the grass at 7 a.m. on summer weekdays.
No more living in a place that smells like a smoking hotel room.
We're pretty satisfied with that particular turn of events. It's nice to be a one-household family again. You'd think that would mean we got a lot done here over the long weekend. Hmmm, not really. We took it easy with some visitors instead.
I've got some photos to post, but I'm lazy and still haven't reloaded Photoshop on my laptop since it crashed. I'll get to those, probably this weekend.
Stacey brought the kids up and we went to the T-Bones game Saturday night. It was beautiful! The weather was perfect, the ballpark was nice, and there was a huge crowd! It's what minor league baseball could be in Wichita if people would get off their butts and go to games once in a while. It was also dollar night, so we enjoyed some dollar dogs, dollar waters and dollar peanuts.
Definitely had to partake in some dollar Tums when we got home.
With the kids, we played some Wii, took them to play at both of our neighborhood parks, and did a little shopping. It was a good weekend all around. Once they were tucked safely in the car headed back to Doodah, we did some yardwork.
Adam cut the grass, and I worked to clear out our tomato patch. So far this year, I've harvested a bunch of chocolate cherry tomatoes (an heirloom variety that are great snacks), but no regular tomatoes. Maybe our last stab at cleaning and restaking the plants will yield a few fruit before the end of the summer.
(I have photos of those too, guess you'll just have to wait!)
I think that's enough random junk for now. Go check out Betsy's blog to see the project she worked on over the weekend.
Kickball double-header tomorrow night. I'm sure they'll be a few good stories out of that, considering last week, I showed up for my first game with the new team and surprise! There was TJ, Amy's husband, playing on the same team! And, since our team is called El Guapo, we had some pretty fly Mexican music playing the whole game. I think I could probably start a whole new blog just about kickball stuff if I really put my mind to it!