Thursday, May 31, 2007

13 trips...

Our new place is so close to school I could almost shoot it with a slingshot...

In traffic on the way home today I realized that I have about 13 more commutes from the old place.

I will kind of miss the skyline view I have.

I'll miss seeing the river.

I won't miss the two interstates and one state highway I've been driving for four years.

I won't miss being randomly cut-off and then flipped-the bird by a crazy woman in an SUV and headscarf (that was yesterday, it seems that I offended her by going the speed limit in my lane when she clearly needed to get over... umm, not my problem, plan ahead and use your turn signals, I can't read your mind...).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


What I will write --
"This serves as our 60 day notice for __________________ street, ___________ apartment, BNS.


What I want to write...

Dear Idiot Apartment Managers,

Let me count the ways in which I won't miss you...

1) The constant notes under our door... the cat will miss them, because he ate them regularly. We won't miss them at all. although the persistent grammar and spelling errors were a source of amusement, the constant threats were not so amusing.

2) The 1970s apartment itself. Retro is one thing, this place is just old. The kitchen and bathrooms are 30 years old. The dark wood trim is icky, not nice and whoever put up those spindles in the den ought to be hung from his neck full of gold chains. For the rent you charge, you should remodel -- really.... putting in a ceiling fan and replacing a dishwasher really aren't sufficient changes to warrant your high rent. Our new place is an extra 100.00 per month, is much nicer and includes AC in the rent. You can and should do better.

3) The 'maintenece man' J. J is a blooming idiot and an embarassing hick. J isn't a good-looking, but he constantly works without his shirt on in public areas. I really don't want to see that, nor do my guests. He breaks more than he fixes and once wanted to bring a live pigeon into our apartment and down the hall, down three flights of stairs (or in the elevator, which would have been a hoot) to his car. We stopped him, a we were sure we'd end up living with the pigeon in our apartment, and you only allow two pets.

4) Your overall lack of ability to plan or complete a project on time. Last summer it was new siding -- we lived all summer in an occasional and unpredictable construction zone. Working from home is hell when someone is clomping on your roof and ripping boards from the outside walls of your apartment. This summer you dug up the front parking lot without a permit. An inspector came by and stopped work... now we have mud and gravel there -- and our guests have to park in back and come around front to be buzzed in. My guests are healthy and the most frequent one has keys (hi Brain :), so it isn't a huge issue for us -- but there are plenty of old and handicapped people in our building who are limited and I'm sure their friends are having a hard time because y'all are idiots.

5) The idiots in the office -- between the ding-a-ling who answers the phone and the apartment manager who doesn't return phone calls, y'all are about worthless. The only good one of the lot is the caretaker -- FYI, she should be managing both buildings.... she's a keeper, the rest of the staff shoul be fired.

So -- we, like the rest of your good tenants, are out of here! You can kiss my butt..


ps, we've had an illegal cat for 5 years and you never noticed. HA!

It's official... we're moving

So -- we're moving. For sure.

We've been waiting for two weeks for the results of our application to come back. We've never had an apartment complex take so long... maybe the others were so quick because they didn't actually DO the out-of-state criminal background check... hmmm...

Anyway, it is official -- we're out of here in August.

YEA!!! Now, to get rid of some more stuff....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

for the record, people....


Do I need to say this again? The fact that you are an idiot isn't my issue, don't spread it to me.

To the person on the phone...

Don't think I'm stupid, you were telling me that X would be back today. Don't tell me that "someone else may have been confused, she'll be back tomorrow." Ummmm, that someone else was YOU. You are making me wonder if I want to get into a long-term relationship with your company.

I started to wonder last week when the copy machine was baffling to you. You were in your own office, weren't new (I saw you there three weeks ago...) you just couldn't use the thing. All you need to do is to put the paper face down and push a button. This wasn't a complex move, one copy is all you needed.

Also, "January, April and May" are NOT 3 consecutive months. Since you collect this information for a living, you should know that. Don't treat me like an idiot when I tell you that you need MARCH... and don't ask me if there is one that is more current. It was mid-May at the time... there won't be another one until JUNE. Unless you can get in your time machine and move forward two weeks, there won't be one until JUNE 1. That is the reality of being paid once per month. Clearly, you don't get that.

To my logic student (S)....

Do your homework. Really, it isn't a mere suggestion if you don't have anything better to do, then do some logic problems.. .no, you need to actually DO the stuff.

And you student Y -- this is the second time you've clearly been unprepared. In fact, last Thursday is the only day so far this semester that you've been ready for class. Don't give me the stink-eye when you haven't done your homework. You even had a long weekend to do it...

Generally, don't be confused as to what homework was assigned. That is a big clue.

You'll get another clue on Thursday, when you take your quiz. It is going to suck, for you. You are going to worry about it all weekend -- to which I say GOOD! While you worry, do homework. Really, I mean that.

That is all.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cleaning the closet...

How is it that hubby and I have enough clothes so that I can bring 9 big black trash bags full of clothing to Goodwill?

Our closet was out of control.

Now my bedroom looks like the closet puked on it.

After dinner I'll load the bags into the Jeep so they'll be ready to go tomorrow morning. The last step is putting everything back in.

This is the second step in our phase down... we got rid of some miscelaneous equipment yesterday to make way for the new DC tables.

My next step will be to tame the other storage places in the bedroom and then work my way to the other end of the apartment.

I suspect the Goodwill people will get tired of me sooner or later.

Morning in the DC...

Morning in the DC is a time of cats....

snuggling and fighting

Exploring and sitting still

and sitting on my side of the new table

Friday, May 25, 2007

A New era in the Dissertation Chamber...

For over a year, may be more, we've been mostly working in what we've called "the DC", for Dissertation Chamber.

The DC is our 2nd bedroom and is part office, part guest room. We found that we like working in the same room -- and that we didn't use our offices (our apartment is pretty big... diningroom, den, livingroom and two bedrooms... yea, it is silly --and only affordable because it hasn't been updated since 1970).

a key component of our DC is the wall of books...

The current configuration happened late last summer, just before hubby started teaching in Red State. We swapped the location of the bed and the table, which moved the table in front of the window, so the DC became more a place for one person to work than two -- which was kind of ok, because it was mostly me.

With hubby home for the summer, a small turf battle showed us that the current table just didn't work. We knew we wanted to work in the same room, but it just wasn't going to happen at that table.

So, we decided to go to IKEA.

Those of you who know me, know that IKEA is the promised land, a land full of decent but inexpensive furniture hubby has to put together. IKEA also holds other amazing treasures -- but today we went in search of a table about 9 feet long.

We ended up with two 4-foot long tables placed end to end where the old one was.

In our new configuration, we each have our own space, I can see out the window and hubby can easily see the TV, nobody has to sit on the end of the table.. and New Kitty has a whole new place to dominate and from which to torment Extra Toes.
all is well.

a really long day...

My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. I hit the snooze, but was up before it went off again.

I taught two classes.
Gave two quizzes.
Graded two quizzes.
Did prep for next week.
Went to the new apartment with paperwork.
Went to the gym and swam.
Came home, watched transh TV, ate dinner etc...

Then hubby decides to check out the gym in the late evening.
and invites Brain to play raquet ball.
I realize that the pool is likely to be empty at 10 PM and decide to go back ('cuz one ass kicking wasn't enough, and I got my new suits in the mail today... ).

The gym doesn't take visitors after 9 PM.
We take Brain home and go to our regular location to workout -- getting there about 11 PM.

The pool is nearly empty.
I swim, jog and do a bunch of other in water exercises.
Hubby hits the treadmill and the joins me in the pool.
We go in the hot tub for a while.

Now we are hungry -- so we head to Perkins.

Of course, the poor waitperson is overworked, so the food takes a while to get to us.
We eat stuff that isn't on our diet. It tasts nearly sinful it is so good... (fish and veggies can't replace pankakes and sausage...).

We come home.
I rins out two swimsuits.
I check e-mail
I realize that I got out of bed 20 hours ago to start my day.

Tomorrow, a day off -- whatever will I do? I think I deserve it, as I had nearly two days today.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The pool kicked my butt.

Today I went to the gym intending to do a nice 30 minutes on the treadmill and go home...

As I walked in the door, the pool had 4 open lanes -- just begging me to come swim.

It has been a long time since I've exercised in the water, and now I can't lift my arms.

I have to admit, it is a good workout. You can do a lot of stuff without impact and without getting hot and sweaty. It also seems easier while you are doing it than it really is.

I also want to know why people think that they can just jump in a lane with me. I wouldn't get on a treadmill with them, they need to stay out of my lane... of course, I know the answer... we can share etc... but, I like having the whole thing to myself so I can either swim, walk or do water aerobics.

Oh well, I'll get used to it -- but I won't like it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

and.. I got spit on by a whale...

on our trip to the Big Windy City --

Because I'm turining into a travel ninja, I got us a good deal on a downtown hotel room and hubby and I dove into the Big Windy headfirst. I really like this city -- there is a lot to do, interesting people, a great lake and cool stuff to see. I'm not so sure we could live there, as hubby gets a bit tense in big cities -- but, I think we could manage.

We had an afternoon and a full day to play -- we didn't have a lot of plans and were kind of going on the Ferris Bueler theme of "go to Big Windy, and have fun"... which we did...

The first thing we did was to see some art, ala Ferris Bueler's Day Off....

and, since we spent so much time in Corn State this year, I had to get a snap of this one ---- it also seems to say something about feminism, perhaps about how far we've come....

I'm certain this has a message in it about feminism --- although I'm not so sure it is positive... If you look closely, you'll see fur in important places. I like modern art.... hubby was amazed at how my inner humanities-geek knew all these things.

In all, I think this was the best $7.00 per person we spent all weekend -- (student discount, yea!).

Instead of a ritzy French restaurant for pancreas, we went to a really hip sushi place for dinner. It is owned by a friend of an old friend of mine and was really, really good. Of course, even on a Thursday night it was full of hip people being cool -- which means we had plenty of fun people watching while we waited for our food. I was a bit surprised that it was so busy, but maybe I'm just not in on the fact that Thursday is the new Friday...

The next morning we hit the Museum of Science and Industry, which is someplace Ferris and his pals should have gone. It was pretty cool, but full of kids on field trips -- We saw the U-505 exhibit, which was pretty impressive and then went to the Aquarium.

After a nice lunch overlooking a great lake, we saw the aquarium -- which is where I got spit on by both a whale and a dolphin.. quite an accomplishment. We also saw otters and a wide variety of scaly and icky things... Overall, the $24.00 per person seemed a bit steep, and I don't thnk we'll go back there for that price.... but, it was fun to do once. I can see why Ferris didn't go....

Although, Ferris missed the penguins...

After the aquarium, we went back to the hotel for a bit and then went out to find a bookstore. You can tell hubby and I are real nerds -- we were within blocks of some of the best mile of shopping in the middle of the country and that isn't interesting at all to us, we'd rather go to Border's...

Our last night in town we got a Big Windy pizza delivered. Everyone raves about them, and it was good and all. The one we had was deep dish with the cheese on the bottom and the topings on top of that, no sauce. It was good, but not in the way that a normal pizza is good.

In the morning we said goodbye to Big Windy and spent the afternoon with smaller and less windy people on the way home to BN state.

An obligatory cat photo post

New Kitty is still finding new places to go in the apartment. Yesterday was a good exploring day for her. She got on the top of the lower-half of the window in my Dissertation chamber (maybe 1/2 inch wide... ). She also fit into the space behind a set of shelves I have in the back of the bedroom closet --- no more than three inches wide.

Here are a couple of photos of our girl.

Loving Summer School...

I'll complain about them later... so, here are the goods :).

Ethics: They are so earnest. They may not all do the reading, but they listen when I explain it and play along when I ask them questions. They also do nicely with small group discussions and come up with interesting points of view on the topics... The fact that they are willing to discuss ethics at 7:45 in the morning is amazing to me.

Logic: Since they are a small class (so small that there was a worry about it being cancelled.. eek), they are all aware that they need to do the homework. They are willing to ask questions and tell me when they are confused. This feedback helps so much! I have a couple of prior students in that class, both of whom I enjoyed when I had them last time.

Yea, it could be a good semester.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A modest goal for the summer...

I have a goal.

It is a simple goal. One that I should be able to achieve.

This goal may seem easy for some of you, but I haven't been able to actually do this thing for the last three years -- at least.

I want to stay in BN state for the whole month.

I don't want to cross the state border in any direction -- even Canada is out -- and I LOOOVE Canada.

I just want to know what it feels like to stay home for a while.

I realized recently that for the past three years or so, I've left the state at least once per month. The combination of debate coaching, debate camp in the summer, a general love of travel, out of state family functions and hubby working in Red State has kept me moving.

Don't get me wrong, I love to travel. I get kind of restless when I haven't been out of town for a bit. I love to see other parts of the country, meet strange people, see strange things and eat strange food. I suppose that is why it has taken three years of pretty consistent travelling to make me think that staying home for a whole month is a desireable goal.

We'll see how long this staying home thing lasts.... it isn't even June 1 and I'm already getting a bit twitchy... hmmm. Of course, BN state's north woods don't count, so we could go camping....

Crazy, in a good way...

We are all a bit shell-shocked around BNCC... that is always the case with first summer session. Grades are not even due until tomorrow, but classes for the first summer session started today. As you can imagine, this makes things a bit odd around campus. Students have that 1,000 yard stare and a slight feeling of de ja vu, while the instructors are a bit off because they are often re-starting courses we've just finished--- but the faces and schedule are all wrong. The finishing touches to schedules are also happening -- so adjunct hiring is an issue, schedule SNAFUS are being resolved and everyone is more than a little flighty.

One of my favorite people in the building ran by my open office door, snaged a pen and went to class. She works on the opposite end of the building and realized that she was short a pen, so she borrowed one while I was in the copy room :). It was nice to see her face, although she did make me realize that I should close my door, as she could have been a student stealing my purse --

This afternoon I had a chance to chat with a former debater, Woodchuck. He's haivng kind of a difficult month, but I think things will work out for him in the long term. He'd really like to join the BNCC faculty and is willing to do part-time work etc. I know he'll be a natural, as he was always trying to teach someone something when he was on my team. It will be fun to have him come full circle, as he was my second BN state debater.... and quite a personality in his on right :).

After talking to Woodchuck, I went to the gym... yes, those of you know know me IRL can laugh -- me, at they gym... but, it is true. I've been two whole days in a row now. I think it is a good thing hubby and I joined a gym this week. The exercise will do us good and having an acitivity that is away from computers and phones for an hour or so a day is proving to be more relaxing than anything. Now, I'm waiting on my clothes from Champion and my swimsuits from LandsEnd. Both websites were having sales on their plus-sized stuff, so I'm pretty exicted to get a full gym bag's worth of workout clothing via UPS this week. Champion was also having free shipping for orders over $100.00 (mine was $102... go me!).

Tonight I saw a new side to the Super Dean -- who called me at home tonight to discuss recent confidental events. It didn't seem at all odd to me to be sitting in my DC wearing my pajamas, chatting with her while the New Kitty's bell rings in the background. I think the key to working with her is going to be timing. She needs some time to process stuff and she's great when she can focus on one or two things at a time. This is going to be valuable information when I'm department chair -- and need something from her :).

Tomorrow the wonderful cleaning person comes. I can't wait. I love coming home when she's been here doing her magic. So, I'm going to pick up so she can clean (those of you with cleaning people know what I mean... you don't want to pay them to pick up after you, you want to pay them to do actual cleaning...) and go to bed. 7:45 is an awful time to start a class...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

life update...

I'm happy to report that:

Hubby liked the new apartment -- and we ended up with the slightly larger one, but the one that has the really nice office and very nice kitchen -- and a deck. We'll move in August.

Mom is doing better. A couple of weeks ago she slipped and broke her shoulder, forcing them to do a partial joint replacement. She now has an artificial hip, an artificial knee and 1/2 of an artificial shoulder. Sooner or later she'll be the bionic woman and will never be able to navigate airport security without a full frisking.

Mom also has (thanks to me) a very clean kitchen, fewer cobwebs and a very well mucked-out guest room. She' particularly fond of the guest room and has taken to popping her head in there just to marvel and the clean and organized closet. She now has many plans for that closet, which seems to have taken on the magical property of being able to hold everything she wants to keep but doesn't need close at hand.

Hubby and I have decided to join a gym. The trick is that we needed to find someplace that has nice facilities both here and in Red State, so when we travel back and forth we can't use not being in the right place as an excuse for not working out. There seems to be only one nice-gym company that meets this requirement, and they only do so because they'll be opening a new location in Red State next month. This is also a place with a reasonable cancellation policy (i.e. you don't buy a huge contract you can only get out of by means of death certificate...).

Also, New Kitty and the boys are getting along very well indeed. As soon as I download my latest photos, I'll post some of the big city by the lake (taken especially for the blog) and the most recent photos of her "high"ness...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Done just in time...

My Logic grades are in, just in time to start the Summer session on Monday. I'm not sure why they think this is a good idea for anybody, but as long as my classes make enrollemnt (cross your fingers for me), I'll start a short semester on Monday with an Ethics class at 7:45 AM.

The Ethics class should be fun. I decided to try a new approach to the applied ethics part of the class. We will do about 4.5 class hours discussing the ins and outs of an applied ethics topic. I'll probably have informal debates, small group exercises etc... to get them into the mode of thinking about the problem, then I'll use a bit from popular culture or a specific reading on the topic from outside philosophy to discuss the topic from a new perspective.

We are going to discuss the War in Iraq using an article from Foreign Affairs written by someone both hubby and I know. The article studies training done by the US military in regards to the ethics of warfare.

We'll discuss sexual morality issues and then watch "The Laramie Project", or perhaps another movie that deals with GLBT problems.. or maybe even the problems and experiences of sex workers.

We'll discuss medical ethics in terms of reproductive technology and read Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper", about a girl who was born to be a donor for her sick sister.

We'll discuss responsibilities to the poor and hunger issues and read Barbara Erinrich's "Nickle and Dimed", about the working poor in the US. This should be really interesting, as part of it takes place in BN state.

I'm going to try out this class format, if it flops, it will give me a clue about what not to endure for a longer semester :).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

IOU for a real post...

Today was my last Tuesday off for a while... I'll miss them.

I'm done with grades for Intro. A few people pulled out Bs others As and a few failed. Just like every other semester.

Logic takes their stress-ball of a final exam tomorrow.... Secret message to "Sunshine" get a good night's sleep and spend some time tonight surfing the internet and relaxing with C and the cats. Tomorrow you are going to do great!

Tomorrow I'll look at, and choose, our new apartment. The complex I love has two choices for me, so hubby and I will go look at them after the logic exam.

After the apartment decision I'll head for the north woods and a "good daughter" day of cleaning closets and such for mom. Her Mother's day presents were a purse she wanted and thought was out of stock and the closet organizing things I'm importing to the north woods from IKEA.

I'll be back on Friday afternoon to finish Logic and be done with the semester --- of course, it is just in time to start summer session...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

soon to be memories...

Tomorrow is my last teaching day for spring at BNCC.

This time of the year is kind of bittersweet... some favorites will be history, some doofballs will avoid my gaze in the hall next year and everyone will wonder that they did well while thinking they could have done better.

It seems like I spend more time writing and revising final exams in the spring than I do in the fall. Not sure why that is, maybe because I want them to be fair tests of student's abilities and maybe it is the fact that summer is a long time to brood about an unfair exam... One way or the other, they are written and off to be copied.

I'm also currently caught up on grading (sorry to those who are avoiding massive piles of grading by reading blogs, I don't mean to brag...). Tomorrow after class hubby and I will take a little roadtrip to the Big City that is very Windy... with a stop back in the cheese state at the Angry city on the way for some family party action.

On Monday I'll read my Intro to Philosophy final exams -- I'm doing something different this time, I'm doing short-answers with an open book exam. I'm not so sure how it will work out, but I know that EVENTUALLY they'll have to do the reading, if only during the final exam period :). While they are working on the short answer questions, I'll be reading their take-home essays and perhaps live-blogging the exam :).

On Wednesday I'll give my Logic final -- something that is the occasion of significant stress for some students. I wish there were a way to avoid that stress while still insuring that students who get an A in the course are able to do the most complex deductions. There is no non-stress inducing way to do so. In many respects, grading my logic finals is pretty satisfying. I see students who have struggled and worked hard do well while the ones who blew off the course until the last few weeks generally have to fight for a C. It is also objective, especially once the standards for a satisfactory deduction have been established -- and objectivity in grading is something that philosophers don't have much of on a regular basis.

The sad bit is that I've finally gotten to know my logic students. In my own defense, it isn't easy to get to know a group of 40 students.... but, it is finally the case that I know what their facial expressions mean and can ask them by name if they are having problems with the material. Week after next I'll meet a whole new class of logic students and have to get used to them... sigh.

to the idiot who...

Dear Idiot,

Classroom design isn't hard. Instructors like to use a variety of modes to communicate with students. Some of us use whiteboards, others use PowerPoint and some of us use both.

Why make me choose between the white board and powerpoint.

Why, why, why??? Putting the huge screen over the whiteboard forces that choice.

Well, it may be expensive -- as the only way I can think of to teach well in that room may require a tablet PC...


Sunday, May 06, 2007

longing for grading jail...

Strangely enough, I wish I were doing grading jail right now.

BNCC has another week of classes before finals. I really hate the last week -- everyone is cranky, we're all tired. Faculty want to hurry up and get it over with while students want it to go on forever because they dread taking the final.

Hubby is doing senior's grades tonight... frustrated with their seniorits, he's saying things like "I'm legally allowed to kill them, right" and sighing a lot.

The thing is, when he's done this week -- he'll be DONE!

Next week I'll teach a little, review a little and watch some presentations. I'll copy some exams and then go out of town.

When I come back, I'll have a bunch of grading to do, grades to calculate and summer session syllabi to copy.

If I work it right I'll have four whole days off between Spring and Summer sessions. Oh my, I won't know what to do with all the time... Actually, I plan to go up to mom's and give her her Mother's Day present -- a whole day with me as her cleaning person. We'll do some basic stuff and then clean out the closet and dressers in her guest bedroom --

For now, I wish I had a stack of logic exams to grade.


Hubby is home for the summer. All that's left of his semester is grading jail.

It is so good to have him here and know that he's not going to pack up and go on Monday. We'll go down to Red State to tie up some loose ends in a couple of weeks, but we can go together.

Of course, I'm going to the north part of BN state today to see my mom in the hospital-- she fell and broke her shoulder and had to have part of it replaced. She's doing fine -- but it puts a major crimp in her summer plans.

Next week we'll go to Big Midwest City for a couple of days of fun-- and, since Mom won't be at the family thing, we'll just stop there for a few hours on the way home from Big Midwest City instead of spending the night and having a Mother's Day breakfast with her.

-- but, for right now, he's home and sleeping in the other room -- and I'm happy to have him back!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

We may have a winning apartment...

The new place is very close to BNCC, which is really nice. The 2 minute commute will be great and being close to school allows me to ask nice people like Wise Woman or Dog Dad to look in on the kitties without also asking them drive across town to do so. Complex is really nice and has many meeting-room type things that could be used for department retreats etc... There is a larger party room that could hold a department party or family bash and a guest apartment we can get for $50.00/night.

The apartment itself is modern and laid out well. The place in our price range has everything we need, including a 1/2 bath that will serve as the cat bathroom, walk-in closets and a washer/dryer in the apartment. If we get lucky, we'll look out onto wetlands and a closed golf course.

Now I'm looking forward to moving. The process of sorting, tossing out stuff and getting organized is long overdue around here. I've been feeling kind of choked by all of our collected stuff. I suppose this is natural, since it has been almost 5 years since we last moved.

The new place is smaller than our current apartment, so we'll have to either ditch some stuff or put it in storage.... hubby and I will have to have the 'put stuff in storage vs. get rid of it fight' again. I say that we shouldn't pay for storage unless the stuff in storage has sentimental value or is really valuable. Storage units run about $600.00 for a year, so storing a bunch of IKEA bookshelves and boxes of paperbacks just doesn't make sense. If we want them again, we can buy them for a lot less than paying the storage fees. I'd be ok if he wanted to put stuff in storage for a month or two until we can get it moved to Red State and stored in th basement of the place he's housesitting... but, after that it seems like a waste of money to pay for storage.
You Belong in Australia

Sunny, upbeat, and cute
You make the perfect surf bum
Now stop hogging the vegemite!

Dear New Kitty...

Ok Cat -- here's the deal... I'm sure you are wondering why hubby and I bought those squirt bottles.... you are going to find out sooner or later... let this serve as a warning.

The toilet is not some place of awe and wonder -- I don't put my face in your litterbox, you stay out of the toilet until at least after I've flushed...'kay?

Walking on top of the antique mirror on the dresser is risky behavior. Doing so in order to get to the top of the 6-foot tall bookshelf is more risky. I'm not sure what you are seeking up there, but I doubt it is the mundane travel supplies I store up there.

Eating the 'cat palms' in the livingroom will make you sick. Just ask extra-toes. Don't do it.

And, if you could let me know when you decide to resume sprinting from one end of the apartment to the other, that would be nice.

cat mom

Secret messages to my pals...

Wow -- one member of a group of my pals just had an amazing bit of good news. I'm so happy for her I could burst. Her life and the life of her family is going to change for the better. She deserves every bit of the goodness that is coming her way. Tackling this good news will be a huge challenge for her, but she's up to it.

In the same group of pals, another just had some really bad and scary news, the sort of news that nobody deserves -- ever. She's going to need some time to process it -- and physical distance makes it difficult for the group to swoop in ala "Sex in the City" girls to give hugs, comfort and martinis. We'll have to settle for on-line support and positive thinking.

So -- big hugs go out to both of these amazing friends.... you know who you are! I'm here for you, even if I'm far away.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

She couldn't believe it.... I said no.

I've had a 'problem student' in my logic class-- We'll call her the unimaginitive PS...

This semester PS has done the following:

Badger me for additional points on nearly every exam or quiz.

Consistently come in late for class.

Several times a week PS interrupts me as I'm leading discussion of problems.

Tried to bully a logic tutor into doing her homework for her.

Taken the only copy of something that was supposed to be shared by the class -- bringing it back 2 weeks later....

Today was the end... for me.... Because of the way I do my final exam, I and my students need to have an idea of where they stand at the end of the semester. Therefore, I collect all misc. written work no later than 5 minutes after the beginning of class on the day of the last quiz. I tell them many times that the work is due by class-time plus 5 minutes, if it is late, I won't accept it. I even explain the reason for this.... because otherwise when I finally decide something is too late, it is arbitrary and unfair to the student who doesn't get to hand their stuff in.

Of course, PS pounds on my office door 3 hours after the due time and tries to give me her extra-credit assignment.

I refused. She tried to hand it to me again. I told her no again.

She said that I'd never announeced a time. I told her that I had.... I've also written it on the board --- which I'm sure she ignored.

I'm sure I got kind of rude at the end -- but I'm tired of her trying to bully me and play the system because she's not a native English speaker. She doesn't understand and doesn't pay attention because she hasn't had to. The thing is, I know I'm being clear because there is another non-native English speaker who is doing very well and doesn't have the issues PS does...-- that student and PS are even from the same region and overall seem to have the same language skills.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do you have the perfect apartment for me?

After helping Brain move, I started shopping for apartments....

The cats and I would like someplace that looks like this:

Attached garage with infinite storage for extra furniture.

Large office/den with a window for me to turn into the new DC. The DC needs a window, because I've become more like Kant than I'd ever admit -- in that I need to look out in order to think. I also enjoy watching the snow, getting some fresh air and generally seeing the world.

Ample but cozy bedroom -- big enough for our king-sized bed, antique dresser and nightstand -- with an infinite walk-in closet.

A livingroom that is just right (I found this one -- in real life). Big enough for my comfy furniture, but doesn't feel like a hallway or bowling ally. It has a fireplace with a TV niche above it and windows on either side.

A dining room with lots of wall space to accomodate all of our books and bookshelves.

A large but convenient kitchen, one that doesn't feel like the "hallway" kitchen of our current place, but rather feels like someplace you'd like to spend time and cook yummy meals.

A washer and dryer that is in the bathroom area -- with enough space for the catbox.

All of this should be in a friendly complex that is professionally managed, but not in your face about it -- where they allow you to grill in your driveway if you'd like and your neighbors come by to say hi but don't stay too long.

I'd like to pay about $500.00 per month, no outrageous "pet rent" -- which is just a disguised, non-refundable pet fee.

Of course, this is impossible -- but, a girl can dream.... and, test the "blog about it and find it" theory.