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Thursday, September 27, 2012

I wrote a book...

That's right. I wrote a book.

Bet you were wondering where I've been...well, now you know!

Well that and I'm back to teaching special ed full time. Bet you didn't think you'd ever hear that either! Ha.

If you love my witty banter and think I'm a halfway decent writer, go buy my book. It's available on both Kindle and Nook.

If you think I'm just a babbling idiot with lousy writing skills, go buy my book anyway. I'm in the middle of renovating a house. I'm broke.

For Kindle

For Nook

Friday, May 11, 2012

He's not on Angie's list...

The other day when we demo'd the other bedroom, you know how I mentioned it was a breeding ground for mold? I may have exaggerated a bit but the insulation was definitely black instead of pink. People, we pulled this insulation out for a reason. It had been pinned up against the roof for decades, collecting moisture and acting as an impromptu petri dish. We yanked it all out to stop the spread of black lung.

Not a day later I looked out the Door to Nowhere (yes, we have a Door to Nowhere, just like the Winchester Mystery House) and there was a pickup truck parked next to our dumpster. There's an old guy who eats at the restaurant next door every day at the same time and one afternoon he came over and asked if he could dump some things in our dumpster. Of course Bruce said yes, then asked him what he did for work. He told us that he does odd jobs like drywall and plastering. Both our eyes lit up when he said that since we're both tired of mudding and sanding our shitty, wavy walls. Bruce asked him if he'd be willing to come up and take a look at our drywall to see if he'd be willing to do the rest of the finish work.

To make a long story short, here's my text message to Bruce from the other day:

Me: So not letting old guy in house.
Bruce: Why?
Me: Let's just say, insulation is gone from dumpster.
Bruce: What?
Me: Old guy took it out of dumpster. Eww.
Bruce: He what? That shit was moldy. He's not doing work on house.
Me: What's he going to do with moldy insulation?
Bruce: Don't want to think about it. Tell everyone, don't hire old guy.

I'm guessing he's not on Angie's list...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jenny Lawson is my HERO!

A couple weeks ago I got voted in as president of the Friends of the West Springfield Public Library. Basically what we do is raise money for the library and help the library stay afloat. The town is supposed to be building a new library but with a new mayor in office the project has run into a number of problems and we are in danger of losing millions of dollars that were granted to us for a new building. Now the Friends are going into overdrive to help raise awareness and funds to keep the project rolling.

So yesterday I emailed a couple of authors that I happen to be a huge fan of and asked if they would be willing to help in some way. Jenny Lawson of Bloggess fame has generously offered signed book plates for her new book Let's Pretend This Never Happened. That means we get to auction off a few copies of one of the funniest books I have read in a long, long time! Jenny is also going to post a blurb on her Twitter supporting the West Springfield Public Library.

Thank you Jenny! You are my hero!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012


You know you've become a lazy (lousy) housekeeper when you have to use a Clorox wipe to clean off the Clorox toilet wand before you use it because it's just too gross to touch. Eww.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Over the Beagle Limit


Daisy usually likes having her picture taken but, like Bruce, she does NOT like having her sleep disturbed. Especially if it's just so I can blind her with the flash. She has been my victim ever since I got my new camera and she's tired of the "momarazzi".

So like I said, the vet tells me she has an anxiety disorder. I did indeed tell him it was probably some sort of puppy PTSD, or Beagle Bipolar. Hehehe. But it goes so far beyond that with this dog. She's dumb. In fact, she's a complete moron. I have never before met a dog that can fall up the same three stairs every day no matter what. Up the stairs, mind you. Today she went to get out of Bruce's new truck and snout planted on the driveway. Right now she has a giant sticky spot of barbecue sauce on her noggin from a rib I tossed to her. Needless to say she can't catch.

Daisy also has this terrible habit of dumpster diving. Well not actually dumpster diving because our dumpster is far too tall for her to get into. Though I do see her eyeing it occasionally like she'd really like to try scaling it. But she does go through every other trash container in the house including the one in the bathroom. She's a crafty little pooch. The can in the bathroom has a pedal, a vintage beauty can from about 1950. I assumed that because it was stainless steel and had a pedal that she wouldn't be able to get into it. She can't figure out how to climb stairs but she sure as hell figured out how to open the trash can! And if she finds something really yummy in the trash, she likes to take it in the bedroom and roll on it. On the bed. And she prefers...ahem..unmentionables.

In spite of the fact that she currently reeks of garbage, pee, and just general dirty dog, she has decided that she loves me and I love her back. Since Bruce works days and I teach at night, Daisy and I get a lot of quality time during the day. Basically we're left alone together far too often. Note the orange claws. They were lavendar last week.

"And three little lines..."

I'm not allowed to measure things in our house. Mostly because of the incident with the stairs but also because one time Bruce asked me how long something was and I said, "14 inches and one...two...three little lines." Apparently that was not the right answer.

We also learned I have zero depth perception to go along with my masterful measuring skills. Bruce asked me to cut out a piece of plywood to make the new landing for the attic stairs. I was very proud of myself when I measured and drew out the whole thing since it has a ton of angles and corners in order to fit around doors and walls. Apparently, even though I followed the rules and "measured twice to cut once" my measuring skills are so horrid that when we went to lay down the cut board it didn't fit. At all. In any way. In fact it looked like a dyslexic blind toddler cut it. Seven cuts later Bruce jammed it into place and we don't talk about it. Ever.

In February Bruce was getting ready to fly to San Diego for business. I helped him pack his suitcase with the suit we scrambled to get (that's a whole other story) and the 500 other things he needed. By the time we were finished the thing weighed a ton and Bruce was sitting down to do his pre check-in thingy online. Apparently it asks how heavy your checked bags are. Approximately.

I lifted it by the handle, thought for a second and said, "It's approximately two Daisies heavy."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What fresh hell is this...


This is today's project. Eventually this room will be Bruce's man cave but for now it's a breeding ground for mold. It's also apparently the room where coolers go to die since we found three of them in there, none of which belong to us.


Daisy was not at all pleased that we were once again moving her dirt. The vet tells me that she's got an anxiety disorder. I told him it's probably puppy PTSD from the number of times we've dropped construction materials on her because she refuses to wear a hard hat.

So the goal today was to rip out the remaining drywall and the nasty, moldy pink insulation which was going quite smoothly until Bruce pulled down a strip of insulation and found this:


And yes, it's live. So Bruce goes to get his little magic wand that tests the wires. Not only is that random mess of wires live but so is the electrical outlet we found buried behind the drywall on the opposite side of the room.


Bruce calls this his concerned face. Obviously he's far more used to this than I am. I'm all hyperventilaty like, "We almost died in a fire!" And since we watch way too much Holmes on Homes, I yelled, "That is SO not up to code!"

Bruce then decided we should cut the power to the room before we finished the demo since I have a bad habit of hurting myself while working on the house and I'm thinking he was picturing me accidentally jamming the crowbar into a live wire and just...yeesh.

There's a nice handy electrical breaker in the garage that's labeled "Room Above Garage" so Bruce ran down to trip the breaker. The funny part of this is that none of the four breakers actually turned the bedroom off. After a bit of finkling around (yes, that's a real word. Because I said so.)it was determined that the breaker that actually turned off the bedroom was the breaker for our bathroom...all the way across the hall...which we also discovered powers our hallway light in the stairwell. And the outlet in the garage that the compressor is plugged into. Oops. So basically our shitter was powering the air tools. Who says you can't power machines with methane?
Bruce: You've got to be kidding me. You've got to be kidding me!
Me: Honey, have you met this house? It's so not kidding.
So while Bruce continued to mutter about "what kind of idiots pull this shit when building a house", I went downstairs and threw the giant pile of garbage in the dumpster. At least now we won't die in a fire.


"I just bought a bag for my balls.."

Last week Bruce's beloved Chevy Tahoe bit the dust. We went and shopped around until he found the love of his life: a hooker red Toyota Tundra. Since he has a boat a trailer hitch is a necessary accessory for his new toy and this morning he was laying in bed looking up hitches on the internet.

"Hey look at this. They have a section that's simply called 'Balls'. Hehehe."
Of course I giggled because come on, that's funny.

After deciding on a hitch he turns to me and says, "Look, I even got a bag for my balls."
It's a good thing I was finished with my tea by the time that gem came out of his mouth.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

So apparently Jenny Lawson and I have a freakish amount of stuff in common. Well, aside from the fact that I didn't grow up in Texas. And my father didn't torture me with strange wild animals. Though he did make a rattlesnake out of his fingers and chase me around the house with it.

Now that The Prince knows I blog about him I can tell you his name is Bruce and our beagle is named Daisy (remember that because you'll need that information later). This story begins this past Christmas when Bruce decided to get me a Kindle. I hadn't moved in with him yet but I had actually made the mistake of taking him to see my storage unit. This was a bad idea mostly because I had just gotten done convincing him that I'm not a packrat, but the wall to wall shit in my 10' by 15' unit told a different story. It also gave him a peek into my minor book obsession.

"How many crates of books are stacked in that corner?"
He nodded. "Seventeen. Plus the book case at your mom's house, the books under the desk at your mom's house, and the ladder that's being used a book case, and the books piled on the floor."
"Don't forget the two boxes of books in the closet. Oh and the one in the trunk of my car. The guy at the car place said that's probably why the back end of my car scrapes the ground."

I'm pretty sure that conversation ended with him saying something about me being allowed to move in but since there are only four bedrooms in the house I'd have to scale back on my books. I almost left him that day...

So I got a Kindle for Christmas. Which was a bad plan on Bruce's part because he also wanted me to watch "A Christmas Story" for the first time with him. He was utterly disgusted with the idea that I had never seen it and he felt that I had missed out on a key part of my childhood. The only problem being he had handed me an electronic gadget (I love gadgets) that was connected to millions of books. Did he really think I'd be able to watch a movie instead?

Fast forward to my birthday. My mother didn't know what to buy me so she gave me money. And I bought another Kindle. Bruce came home to find me sitting on the couch reading my new Kindle and he gave me a funny look.

"Didn't I give you a Kindle for Christmas?"

"And you bought another one?"
"Why? Oh I see. You got the Kindle Fire. So my poor black and white Kindle isn't good enough for you now?"
"No. That's not it at all."
"Then why did you get another Kindle?"

"Um....I filled the other one up already."
He looked dumbfounded at this answer.
"You filled it up? Doesn't that thing hold like thousands of books?"

"Then how the hell did you fill it up?"
"I downloaded 7,000 books this morning."

And then he walked away.

But of course the first thing I downloaded on my new Kindle Fire was "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson. And now I have an author crush on her because we should so be friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Novel Idea

Once again I'm blogging at work. Why, you ask? Because I have little to no spare time thanks to the death trap house which I'm convinced is trying to kill me. Evidenced by the sliver I got today that was the size of a small Eastern European country. Do any of you know of any wood borne diseases I should be worried about?

The other item on my ever growing To Do list is to finish my first ever novel! Yes, you heard right. No more of this historical nonfiction nonsense. I'm finally turning my hand to gratuitous abandoned building ghosty foolishness. And I LIKE IT!

A Prisoner in the Asylum, the first book in what I hope will become a series, is about a quarter of the way done and for once, it seems the idea is sticking and I'm managing to keep the story flowing. However, I'm the only one reading it so it could very likely be a bunch of crap but hey, A for effort, yeah?

I must go teach! My poor creative writing deprived students need me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Home Improvement Hell

See, I'm slacking already and not writing regularly. That's what happens when the only spare time you have is spent cleaning sawdust and joint compound out of all of hur crevices. However, I am indeed still alive and still writing, though right now I'm sitting on a ladder watching the Prince put up electrical boxes. Altogether not too exciting!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today's Rant

Fellow educators, there's something I need to get off my chest and I would like your opinions. As most of you know last year I worked at a small Catholic school. Catholic schools are private institutions that do not offer special education services, though I had a number of students who were obviously struggling. As their teacher I stayed after school every day except Friday and helped them best I could because it was part of my job. By the end of the school year I knew I wouldn't be returning to the Catholic school so I sent notes home with a few students, offering to tutor them over the summer and prepare them for 6th grade.

When the school year started, I heard rumblings from my students that teachers were making comments in front of others about them being tutored by a former teacher. Some students went so far as to say that these teachers were essentially bullying them about having me as a tutor. That was bad enough- but then I find out that these teachers are now being allowed to charge their own current students $25 an hour for extra help.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but is this not a conflict of interest? Isn't extra help part of your job as an educator? And how is it that the principal can justify asking these parents for even more money so that their students can have what should be available to them regardless? I also have to wonder what's going on in the classroom that the students aren't learning in an effective manor. Case in point, a math test was scheduled for today and the students were so shaky on the information that 23 out of 27 students had to stay after for extra help the night before the test. Shouldn't that be a red flag for any teacher that perhaps their teaching methods aren't reaching their students? Instead this same teacher poked fun at one of my tutoring students saying, "Shouldn't you understand this material? I thought you had a tutor?"

Monday, January 16, 2012


For the last 10 minutes that I have been sitting waiting for my mother, the radio has said simply, "Look". I watch too many horror films.