Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

... this time, on a Tuesday!

Well, it's busy. Weekends are busy. October is a rip-roaring month in the land of standardized admissions testing, thus making September and October rip-roaring months in the land of stanrdized admissions testing preparations. Aren't you glad to know that now?

So on that front, I'm enjoying the busyness. One grad class and one high school class plus a handful of tutees is enough for my schedule. And they're all attentive and friendly students. After all, there are annoying ones out there.

Speaking of which, one of my high schooler tutees informed me yesterday that she got 32 big ones on her recent ACT. Couldn't have happened to a nicer girl. Now, onto pwning the SAT!

Okay, enough shop talk! I'm thankful that Wolfgang got a haircut. Really. We pretty much let the kids do what they want with their hair and clothes. I mean, they're boys - not too many battles there. But Wolfgang had been letting his hair grow for a while. His hair is very thick and wavy, so when he grows it out it gets, in a word, BIG. Combine that with his thin build, and he was looking a bit disproportioned in my humble opinion. He thankfully asked for a haircut - figured it would cut down on the drag for cross country. Whatever works!

Remember that elementary school car show I mentioned at some time or another? Of course you do! Well, it was this past Saturday. Weather was perfect, pizza was free, cars were sure purdy. I don't know how much money we raised, but I'd say it was a success, which is nice because the guy who organizes it is an all-around nice guy.

In movie news, we watched "The Losers". It's no chick flick, it's a comic book movie. But for the ladies, I'll say just one word: Jensen.
A singer in a smokey room... the smell of wine and cheap perfume...
Everybody sing!


Friday, September 24, 2010

old fashioned

Happy Friday! Illustration Friday, as always. This week's prompt is "old fashioned".

Call me old fashioned, but I think babies should get their "child care" from Mom.

Unless she's like... psycho or something...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I see you, v

I was out this morning, enjoying a lovely run, when I was nearly run over by a vehicle pulling into the high school parking lot. I'm not sure if the driver was a high schooler or a parent or what, but the vehicle was one of those crossovers.

Crossovers: The new minivan.

Be careful out there.

Monday, September 20, 2010


What I actually wrote:

Dear Coach (of x-country),

Wolfgang didn't have transportation to Black Forest on Saturday 9/18. He ran 5 miles on his own.

Abby Normal

What my mind wrote:

Dear Coach (of x-country),

Neither my husband nor I was the least bit willing to drive Wolfgang 35 miles in order for him to run a 5-mile shake out run with the team on Saturday 9/18. He ran a perfectly good shake out run by simply going out the back door and returning 5 miles later.

Although there was breakfast at someone's house later, we suspect this is just a ploy by you to get lots of free food during x-country season, cleverly disguised as "team building". In my high school days, team building consisted of diligently straining and striving and struggling and sweating and toiling and exerting with my teammates. It was running up hills while carrying a large rock in each hand. It was running down dirt trails while right on the cusp between control and complete lack of control. It was crashing and falling in the cinders. It was blisters. It was scabs. It was occassionally holding each other's hair... just in case. It was the natural bonding that occurs between teammates who win together or lose together or suffer together and scar their knees together. All of that to be followed by water from the spicket, nothing more.

Not breakfast at someone's air-conditioned home and photos snapped by cell phones that get uploaded on facebook pages after.

Abby Normal

Okay, maybe my mind got a BIT carried away... but the first paragraph stays.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

This was a good week - moreso in introspection and revelation than in actual quantifiable events. But I'll take good over bad anytime, and I'm left feeling rather energized, bold, and vibrant. I'll leave that at that. Esoteric enough?

As for the measurable stuff...

Work has been goodly busy. I've got that one grad class I started last weekend, then the high school class starts this coming week, and a handful of tutees. Friendly students, flexible hours, and a paycheck. Good things come in three's.

Speaking of flexible hours, I got a call to go help out with school pics at the elementary school on Friday. That is fun volunteer duty. Little kids all dressed up for their annual photos, from kindergarten to 5th grade. We got them all through in record time and only had to deal with one high-maintenance mom!

Despite the busyness, I still find time to play with my art toys. The internet helps. What did we do before the internet?

Weather's been nice, which allows for lots of outside time, but we could use some rain. Anyone know a rain dance?


Saturday, September 18, 2010

tastes like high school

This was an awesome week. A bit of a rollercoaster ride, and we all know that THAT is NOT meant to be a good analogy in my case, right? But, bottom line, it all ended up well.

For one thing, it was Halo Reach week. Anyone know what I'm referring to? Anyone? Yeah, Halo REACH! *voice dripping with sarcasm*

But I started a new class this week, and it's a friendly attentive bunch. It's still a bit early, so I don't have any secret nicknames yet. No budding romances that I know of. And then I got word today that another class I was scheduled to teach is a go. Up until last Thursday, it looked like it would be cancelled due to low enrollment, but a couple of last minute sign-ups sealed the deal.

I'm looking forward to this class as it is a class of high-schoolers. In all my time doing this test prep thing, I've never taught a class of live high-schoolers. I've only done private tutoring and online classes for the high school crowd. So, I'm thinking it's going to be fun.

Of course, I'm practically minded enough to realize that I may very well be eating those words after our first couple of classes.


Friday, September 17, 2010


POOF, it's Friday again. I swear, someone needs to slow this train down! It's been a wonderful yet busy week, and the blog neglect should start letting up now.

It is also Illustration Friday, so good thing I'm so peculiar about this must-submit-something-each-Friday thing.

This week's prompt is "acrobat". Oh fun! I realized that I don't think I've ever drawn anyone upside down before. My first upsider downer!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

... on a Monday! Pretend this is from Sunday, a bit of condensed version...

ACK, it was a busy weekend! I started a new class - a nice new crop of students. It's fun to be back in a real classroom after doing mainly online classes for a couple of months. Good old brick and mortar!

As mentioned, last week was Field Day at Meego's school. I know that many schools do their Field Days at the end of the school year, but the P.E. teacher at ours got sick of the weird weather we have in the spring and switched to fall a few years ago. It was fun, spending the day in the sand pits. It was my first real volunteer activity for the year, and nice to catch up with other moms and teachers I hadn't seen all summer. Much gabbing all around.

Magnum and I finally watched "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo". Was good! Go see!

Finished reading a book, started reading a new one.

Friday, September 10, 2010


"There is relish to be found in competition -- in having put forth the best within you."
---Henry Kaiser

Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "Proverb".

So I thought, Proverb? What can I do with that? And then I had to leave to spend the day at Meego's school, for today was the annual Field Day.

Yes, field day! Such fun! Healthy competition amongst friends, and everybody gets a ribbon! (even though we all know that 6th place is really last place...).

This year I was assigned the long jump. So, it seemed only fitting that I would do a competition based proverb.

This is a guy in the midst of a long jump competition. As it formed on my paper, I think it took on a rather crucifixion-esque undertone. That was unintentional on my part, but perhaps subliminal due to the prompt.

Plus I do have a bit of an internal competition with myself on these Illustration Fridays. I want to get my entry posted on the day the prompt is released (they last a week). I managed to get this one scratched out in time to get the burgers on the grill for dinner. Now THAT was a race!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the excitement continues

Happy Wednesday, I made the new weekly pilgrimage to the p.o. box today. Lo and behold, there was something in there!

A coupon! A coupon for Staples!

So there was much satisfaction in knowing that I had pedalled all the way there - brought the bike lock and everything - for an actual purpose. There it was. A shiny coupon. A coupon I will probably never use other than to add to the weight of our recycling.

Deanna Somebody or
Current Resident

That's me! Just below my alias of "Current Resident" was a business name. Later, I was extremely bored and unproductive curious, so googled Deanna Somebody of [name of business] to see who the previous owner of our p.o. box was.

Natural nail care.

Well okay then. That was exciting.


There's always next Wednesday. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an off day

Today's been a nice day. Meego had the day off of school, so the teacher's could recover from yesterday's day off of school or something like that.

ANYWAY, it was just the two of us and we'd decided ahead of time that we would go out and use the gift card that we/I recently received. Of course the rule is that we had to bike ride there. The gift card was for Starb#cks and there such a one inside a nearby Bar&es and N%ble, so we headed for that.

I learned something. I learned that the Starb#cks within the Bar&es and N%ble is really a "Bar&es and N%ble cafe" that serves Starb#cks stuff. As such, they accept Bar&es and N%ble gift cards but not Starb#ucks gift cards. Oh well, so I bought our Starb#cks products at the Bar&es and N%ble cafe that serves them. In the meantime, I still have the fully loaded Starb#ucks gift card. It says that it never expires, so that gives us some time.

So it was a lovely day that included a lovely bike ride and some lovely non-gifted lounging. One thing that struck me was the number of adult people at the Bar&es and N%ble cafe that serves Starb#cks stuff. Just having a coffee, reading or glued to a laptop. I thought, "don't these people have day jobs?", but then thought, "well, maybe they don't. Best not to wonder".

As for me, I'm actually "working" right now. I'm giving a test to an online class. Are they cheating? Heck if I know. And they don't need to know that the teacher is blogging either.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well first of all, it's a holiday weekend. The holiday being "cat acquisition weekend".

It was Labor Day weekend, 1999, when our cat found us, or rather when we freed it from it's starvation trap and it followed us home and never left. I realized it was officially ours a couple of months later when I took it to the vet to get spayed. It was given our last name in the vet's file. It was also given a neuter job instead of a spaying. Hey, he's a cat, okay?!? With long hair! Not that obvious!

Still, he's a little sensitive about that mixup, so don't mention it should you ever run into him.

One reason I write of Cookie the cat is that, this morning, while out for my run, I went past a cat in the gutter. Not really a "cat", but the former shell of a cat that is now in cat heaven. As I ran past it, its resemblance to Cookie had me a bit alarmed. Hmmm... Cookie usually greets me in the morning wanting me to open the door for him, regardless of what side of the door he's on. I didn't see him this morning. Was that him in the gutter?! *SHUDDERS*.

I continued running, thinking I should go back and check the thing in the gutter, but also not wanting to go check the thing in the gutter, know what I mean? I didn't check the thing in the gutter.

When I got home, I searched for Cookie and found him perched on a table, getting fur all over the laptop cover - one of his many thrones. Such relief. He's getting extra Holiday liverwurst.

In other thankfulness news, work is humming along nicely. I have to turn assignments down, there are so many opportunities.

In movie news, Magnum and I watched Wedding Crashers. What a hoot! No, we hadn't seen it before. It's funny.

And this week, I got some new boxing gloves. Yes, boxing gloves. To replace my old boxing gloves that I punched into oblivion. They're really purdy.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "dessert".

What's in yours?


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

attention deficit

Today, I go to the Post Office. Wednesday is now official Post Office Day.

I go to the Post Office each Wednesday to check our Post Office Box. A few years ago, we got a Post Office Box for financial type things we didn't want coming to our street box. These identity theft days, you can't be too careful leaving that stuff laying around. At the time, we also had an autistic boy neighbor who would occassionally go "play" with people's mail, so enter the P.O. box.

They're relatively cheap at $5 a month, plus the branch office where ours is located is a pleasant couple miles bike ride away. As it was, I only visited the box when we were expecting something of importance in there. Such was the case a few months ago. I arrived, key in hand, and went to open the box.


Key would not turn. I fiddled with it, I rattled it, I checked the number, I fiddled some more.


It was as if the lock had been changed. So I came back home and called the post office - that was actually the quicker alternative to standing in line - and learned that, yes, the lock HAD been changed.

The lock had been changed because we didn't pay our 6-month's rent. We didn't pay our 6-month's rent because I wasn't aware that it was due. I wasn't aware that it was due because I hadn't kept track of when it was due. I hadn't kept track of it because the post office had always sent me a bill a couple of weeks before it was due. They sent me the bill via...

... our P.O. box.

which I couldn't get into because the lock was changed because we didn't pay the rent because I didn't know the rent was due because the due notice was put into the box which I couldn't get into because.... well, okay.

So last Wednesday, I rented us a shiny new box. And now Wednesdays are Post Office Days. I'm not really expecting anything of importance, but I just want to get myself into the habit of paying the lonely box a weekly visit.

I hope there's at least a Lego catalog awaiting me.