2.28.2005

My day just got better. I was just notified that 4 of my loudest turds are all suspended today. I knew it would happen...they got in a food fight last week in the cafeteria, but I forgot...thankfully...so now I am pleasantly surprised...nice.

I am tired...I hate my job. Even my advanced kids are grating on my nerves. I CANT start thinking I am just going to get the job at the high school...I have to assume I am staying here, but that is depressing. All of this could have to do with the fact that I am freaking tired too...

3 weeks until Spring Break. Alan and I were going to go to New Orleans, but instead decided to stay home, tear up carpet and refinish the hardwoods. Do I know how to refinish hardwoods? Not really...but I can figure most things out.

I am liking the new church we have found more and more. I do not really care for all the liturgy...I have never been a fan of congregational responses...but there is enough good about the service and our class, that it is looking promising. As we were leaving a couple from the class asked to join us at lunch. They seem a lot like Alan and I...I really like them.

I guess I should actually tend to my class. This is my advanced class, so they are pretty self directed, but I am not being a very good teacher right now...

One more thing. I had a dream that Elton John was a crazed gunman that broke into our school and kidnapped me. We were then invisible ghosts for some reason and he took me around the school scaring people. I got away, but he chased me down...then I woke up.

2.27.2005

'Twas a busy weekend around our house. Friday afternoon, the brother-in-law dropped in from Fort Worth to diagnose an ongoing problem with a loud scraping noise every time we tried to use our dryer. We took the whole thing apart and gave it a good cleaning, which seemed to fix the problem (amazing how many coins, slips of paper and various other small items had collected in the thing). After that, we treated him to dinner at the local bistro for his trouble. The extra help from family is always appreciated.

Saturday I journeyed to Cowtown to meet Tom for some amazing migas at Fuzzy's Tacos - highly recommended if you are in the TCU area. However, the aftertaste of that delectable treat was soured somewhat by the lackluster performance I witnessed later that afternoon, topped off by the ticket office refusing to honor a 2-for-1 coupon I had - a coupon which, incidentally, clearly read "VALID ANYTIME". Suuuuure...basically valid whenever they damn well feel like it.

Today, Em and I got a home-improvement itch after we got home from church, and decided to rip up the well-worn carpet in the hallway (something we had been planning to do for a while) and remove all the carpet tacks and staples from along the baseboards. The floor underneath was, well, less than perfect - but at least it isn't warped, so once we are able to pull the remaining carpet out of both bedrooms we'll probably rent a buffer and shine it up to match the rest of the house.

2.24.2005

Tomorrow will LIKELY be the last day I have to do "double duty" at work, simultaneously handling my interactive duties AND answering phones, monitoring scanners and other desk unpleasantness. It's been fun for the last two years, but with my increasing workload I need a break. There's still a disagreement over how duties are to be divided, so of course things may remain in their current state for another week - or two - or three. Such is corporate life, I suppose. Either way, I'm ready for the transition to dayside that's supposed to be coming up in another couple of months. I miss my wife!

I did end up moving desks last week - twice. I spent half a shift moving into a new spot, only to find out the next day that my new supervisor had already laid claim to that desk. He was cool about it, but I decided to relocate once again so as not to get off on the wrong foot. He seems like a good guy and he's been there four times as long as I have (going on 20 years) so he deserves to get what he wants. Anyway, I like my new desk, as it's a bit more off the beaten path and a bit dimmer (I despise the harsh fluorescent glare of the overhead lighting). As you can see in the picture to the left, it's a bit cramped, and the "open" design of the room means we have no walls and no privacy, but I can't complain too much.

As you may have read in her post below, Emaroo is also poised for some possible life-changing developments on the work front. Think good thoughts for her, kids.

We've been visiting a new church the past few weeks, and dig it a lot. It's Lutheran, which is a new denomination for both of us, but it's surprisingly close in theology to what we were used to (i.e. fairly moderate-to-progressive and non-literalist). The main difference is that the service is based on high liturgy, so there is a much greater sense of ritual (and more singing).

It reminds me of a church I attended while at college, but the main difference is that it's a much smaller, more intimate sanctuary, so it's much easier to feel connected to the service itself. I also like the fact that it has an AMAZING choir - for only 25 people, they have the most well-blended sound I can recall hearing, and their repertoire is consistently top-notch - and the fact that they do communion every other week.

They also offer a jazz service, which is a more casual service sans choir, but with an actual jazz quartet - piano, upright bass, trumpet and aux percussion - that plays a wide range of styles and works as part of a more modern liturgy. The jazz service is not something I'd attend regularly (particularly since the Sunday adult classes meet at the same time), but I came away from it with a much better impression than I was expecting having had negative experiences with "contemporary" services at other churches. We haven't decided what we ultimately want to do for the long-term, but this church has jumped to the top of the list.

Since we're maddeningly close to the weekend, I'll leave you with some fun links to keep you occupied with something other than work drudgery:

- The Complete Calvin + Hobbes
- Gizoogle: Yeah, I know it's just a 2005 version of the erstwhile Dialectizer, but it's still off tha shizzle (har har har)
- My current listenings: Ester Drang, The Secret Machines, Hybridized, WCPE (which can also be found in iTunes radio under "Classical"), and the greatest radio show ever.

2.22.2005

Well, we are in the middle of TAKS hell. It is so boring. 4 1/2 hours to take a test that most finish in 1 1/2. Plus the whole school is testing when only the 7th grade writing test counts. The kids know it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this here or not, but I am looking to move to one of the high schools in the district. Today I filled out my transfer form and just got an email that the teacher that we are expecting to leave interviewed at a private school. Let's keep praying.

What I really need to focus on is getting my photography business off the ground. I don’t want to continue teaching past 3-4 more years and I need a career that can support a family. Alan was able to buy my Nikon for my birthday...that made me very happy! He had some help from the rents...but I am touched he remembered. (not that I would let him forget!) I have made a list of equipment that I need as a minimum to shoot...I need to manifest it somehow. There are a couple of people I can talk to to get my name out there...that's the key...get my name out there. I have seen so many totally boring and SHITTY photographers out there that are banking it.

I have a much different eye than a lot you see these days. I am hoping that will help me. If I could get a few portrait sessions...engagement, senior pics etc...it will help to pay for the equipment I need and build my portfolio.

Oh well...none of this has made much sense...back to testing.

BTW...I have found the world's largest roll of toilet paper! Charmin Mega Roll. This damn thing requires an adapter to your normal toilet paper roll! I love it!

2.07.2005

I was able to come home early today because I was observing at the high schools and after Alan woke up, I checked the mail. Alan asked, "Is there mail?" I said, "No,it is a national holiday." Alan asked, "really, which one?" I answered "My birthday, silly". Alan: "Grrr, I walked into that one."

2.06.2005

Well, it isn't even my birthday and I have already had one of the best ever! Tomorrow I will be 28...blah! That is the worst part.

Friday night Alan and I met Nathan and Shelley for dinner at our favorite little Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. Alan went to high school with Nathan and Shelley is Nathan’s fiancé. We had a great time chatting with laid back, like minded people...you don't find too many of those in these here parts. After 3 glasses of wine, you know me...I was out that night pretty early. We woke up Saturday morning to go to FW to meet my sister and do a little shopping at the store she works at...got a couple of cute things. We then we to eat at Spiral Diner, an all vegetarian and partly vegan restaurant in FW. It is great to find places these days that still serve "real food" as my dad calls it. We then hopped on over to Keller to see the Root clan briefly and pick up some album making materials to work on the 3 albums I have going right now. Always nice to see them and the kids, even if it is for a brief time.

We then rushed home, showered and put on the nice duds for a lovely birthday dinner at Ziziki's. It is a Mediterranean restaurant near our house. I told Alan he really was scoring huge brownie points when we walked in and no sooner were we seated then the lights were dimmed and Norah Jones' newest CD was put on...Alan claims he had nothing to do with it. The food and wine were incredible and the company...very entertaining.

We had a few moments to kill before the movie we were going to, and since I HAVE NO patience, we ran back by the house to open a birthday present. Alan had bought me the NIV Life Application Study Bible that I had picked out. We took it today to have my name embossed on the front.

THEN we went to the Angelika at the Shops at Legacy to see Finding Neverland. Oh, goodness...I needed about an hour to recover and have a good cry afterwards. It was a spectacular movie...very moving. Johnny Depp is a fine actor and proves that to me more and more with (almost) each movie. He is known for being selective in his roles, but I think that just makes me appreciate him as an artist more and more. You may think I am silly, cause what do I know...but I like the fella. As we left, we weren't ready to go home just yet so we found a little French bakery and had coffee and desert. It was a truly lovely evening with my husband. Thank you Alan for understanding that what I truly wanted was an understated, romantic and relaxing evening.

This afternoon we visited a new church. It was pretty different from anything we had tried before, but surprisingly I think we both really liked it. The congregation was much smaller than other we had seen and I really liked the intimate feel. I need to do some more research about them and this specific denomination...but I am hopeful.

I have blabbed enough...and the Super Bowl is FINALLY getting interesting...so I think I will return to the couch!

OOH, a little bird told me that I have another birthday gift coming. Seems this is a joint gift from Alan, his parents and my mom. I have been wanting and NEEDING a new film camera. I have researched and coveted the Nikon N75. We shall see! Happy Birthday to me!

2.03.2005

3 more minutes of silence and peace before the devils come back from lunch. This is exhausting, truly. Monday I am going to one of the high schools to observe the art teachers there and also, hopefully meet, informally, with the principal. He knows that one of the art teachers wants to leave, but there has been nothing set in stone. So, I just want to introduce myself and make it known that I am VERY interested. When I have children they will be locked in a closet from the age of 11 to 14. Joy, there is the bell...I hear the thunder coming from down the hall.

Think good thoughts for Alan...and me for that matter...but it is really important that we have him on a day shift. He has proven himself and deserves this. Not to mention the fact that I would get to see my husband...have dinner with him. It is funny how that is all I really want, to have dinner with my husband.


Right now I am firmly ensconced in my little corner of the assignment desk at work, doing lots of mundane daily stuff that really won't amount to all that much in the grand scheme of things.

I was told a few weeks ago that there was a good chance I would be moving to a normal-world day shift after five years working nights, but as I should have expected things have backtracked a bit. In the wake of recent layoffs I keep reminding myself I am lucky to have a job, but that doesn't make it any easier as I get home each night and see my wife for a few fleeting moments as one of us falls asleep and the other wakes up. I know countless other couples have dealt with the split-shift thing for far longer, but it's still difficult for both of us.

On a lighter note, it's Em's birthday on Monday (y'all give her a shout out!) so we are celebrating on Saturday night. We plan a romantic dinner, after which we'll hit the town and trip the light fantastic until we're too tired to continue - which given recent history will probably hit around 10pm ;)

We're also planning a Spring Break excursion to New Orleans, a city which I have once visited briefly during a layover and which Em called home for a year in high school. We're already formulating a shortlist of places to visit whilst in town, but if you have any suggestions please pass them along.

Lastly, you ever hear of this guy? After a recommendation from a friend, I downloaded a couple tracks, one of which ended up on a recent compilation I made for my significant other to mark the anniversary of our engagement. He was on Conan O'Brien the other night and was just as solid live as he had been on record. He has good crossover potential, and why not? Any bearded white guy who sounds like Jeff Buckley and Tracy Chapman's love child can't be all bad.


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