Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Same ol’

Today I’ll be gone from school as I’ll be attending a one day library conference.  For the past two years I’ve presented sessions, but I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to share this year.  It will be nice to go without worrying about taking all the stuff for presenting.
Lucy is still healing.  She gets her kitty cast changed once a week.  This week they put in extra padding so it’s more difficult for her to hobble on it.  
I’ve stayed late at school every day this week.  I thought that by becoming a librarian I wouldn’t have to do that very often.  It’s really stuff that I don’t have to do, but it’s nice to stay somewhat caught up.  I’ve been on a creative streak so I guess I should just go with it.  
Matt’s job is saved!  A lot of complaints kept coming in and miraculously the city found enough money to keep the department working its normal hours rather than cutting back to 20 hours a week.  At least Matt won’t be as worrisome now.  I do think, however, if another potential opportunity came up, he would consider it.  Just because it has gotten a reprieve twice now doesn’t mean it won’t be on the chopping block again next year. 
Scrabble club is slowly growing this year.  I didn’t have the overwhelming numbers like I did last year, but it’s been steady growth with a few new students almost daily.  My class has been going fairly well, but they didn’t do as well as I’d hoped on their test that they took today.  I think we’ll be doing a re-teach and retest next week.
I skipped Scrabble club tonight.  I feel kind of bad for not going, but I stayed at work until six and didn’t get home until 6:30.  I had to do a load of laundry so I’ll have something to wear tomorrow.  I’ve been feeling a little itchy so I took a benadryl.  I have to get up early to leave early enough to avoid heavy traffic. 
One of my readers asked the following questions: 
Which roller coaster is your favorite and why? How many times have you got off and got back in line to ride again?
I think my favorite coaster is still Millennium Force at Cedar Point.  It is really fast and I enjoy the overbanked turns.  Kumba is a close second, however.  I think the most I’ve ridden in a row is about 8 times at an ACE coaster event where I didn’t even have to get off the train.  One of the perks of going to official coaster events is the exclusive ride time you get before the park opens or after it closes. 
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sometime I amaze myself

Today I spent most of the day working on Scrabble class stuff.  I put together their first major test that they will be taking tomorrow.  The test is online in Moodle and I was able to incorporate created images of Scrabble boards for figuring out scores.  That wasn’t that impressive though it is pretty cool. 

I am, however, impressed with myself for creating a Google Form that my students will use to input their information on their score sheets.  That data is saved online and I can create charts to show their progress.  I also figured out how to export the data to another sheet where I show the entire class’ progress.  My biggest problem right now is figuring out how to get the exported charts to show the correct size after publishing them on my wiki page.  I can create an image, but I’m wanting to publish it where it updates itself every time they enter information. 

Now I have to spend the rest of the evening toying with it and see what I can figure out. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes – really quick

This week has gone by so fast that it didn’t really dawn on my that it was Friday until after I got home this evening and was catching up on other blogs.  Oh yeah, I guess I get to sleep in tomorrow.  

I made Lucy a very happy kitty tonight by bringing home some catnip.  I don’t know what kind of drug it to her, but she was going to town for a bit after I put it on her scratchy thing.

Work has been busy but good.  Scrabble class is going well.  They are taking their first major test next week.  I’m going to create it this week.  From now on, tests will be taken online… easier grading.

Matt and I went to Applebees for dinner.  My meal wasn’t very good but the perfect margarita was great as always.  I had the Honey Pepper Chicken with four cheese macaroni.  The chicken was fine, but I didn’t care for the taste of the macaroni. 

Today I’m hosting a teacher library orientation.  This is the first time I’ve been able to do this.  I’m offering snacks and coffee.  Hopefully that will get a few teachers to come.

Matt and I accidentally overslept earlier this week.  I’m not sure how that happened.  I’m pretty sure I set my alarm, but it didn’t seem to go off.  Matt usually gets up with no problem without an alarm.  I think the dogs are to blame because they were going crazy around 5 or 6 a.m. and Matt got up to let them downstairs.  He normally gets up at 7, but I noticed it was 7:24 at one point.  We both made it to work on time, but he had to skip breakfast.  I had to have coffee once I got to work.

I’ve lost Matt’s computer.  I think I put it up in a safe place before we went on our honeymoon, but now I can’t find where I put it.  I’m going to have to dig through the house tomorrow to see if I can find it.  It’s a very strange thing.  I have a great memory where I can remember birthdays of friends in junior high or useless movie facts, but I could probably hide Easter Eggs from myself.  
 
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Friday, September 05, 2014

7 Quick Takes – I’m Tired

We’ve survived a second week of school.  Amazingly the library will be ready to open to students on Monday.  I think that is the earliest I’ve opened it so far.  
I’ve been having some moments of genius this week.  I think I figured out a way that students can input their own Scrabble stats using google docs which will save me a lot of time.  I’ve also revamped some of my library wiki web page.  It’s been nice to be able to work without a lot of distractions this week.
Lucy got her cast changed again yesterday.  Matt took her this time.  For some reason it took a lot longer than it usually does.  She seems to be doing well still though they had to give her another round of antibiotics.
I thought I might be getting a cold yesterday, but I think it may have just been allergies.  I felt kind of blah and was sneezing.  I took a claritin and started feeling a little better in the afternoon.     
Today I’m hosting a teacher library orientation.  This is the first time I’ve been able to do this.  I’m offering snacks and coffee.  Hopefully that will get a few teachers to come.
We’ve started band rehearsals again.  It’s great to be playing again, but it is kind of exhausting.  Thankfully I’m no longer on the board or the band secretary – although I’m still doing some of the work.  The person that was going to be secretary suddenly resigned from the board and so I’m still sending out emails as needed.  But that’s it.  I’m drawing the line. 
Having the gate at the top of the stairs has been great to keep the dogs downstairs when I’m going during the day.  Unfortunately Angie is now eating the fence.  I’ve discovered parts of the fence on the kitchen floor.  I guess we’ll need to go to home depot this weekend and get stuff to fix it before she makes herself at home at the neighbor’s house.   
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes – A day late and a dollar short

 

--- 1 ---

It’s been a long, exhausting week.  I’m surviving, but I’m in bed by 10 every night.  It has been a productive week at work, but I still have a lot to accomplish by next week.  I met several librarians last week and did a session on creating and editing their wikis with them.  It went well and several of them are using some of my ideas such as an online calendar. 

--- 2 ---

Lucy seems to be doing well with her kitty cast.  She had it changed yesterday.  She has to have it changed every week.  Part of it started unraveling so I improvised with band-aids to keep it intact.  She has been staying my closet as she is supposed to be kept away from furniture where she might try to jump.   

--- 3 ---

Matt’s department where he works is getting hit again.  They tried to cut hours about six months ago, but after some backlash, it was delayed.  This time they notified the media first and then officially told the department.  Matt may start looking for another job soon.  The morale is waning there and people are getting shifted around.  When their current department manager retires, they will be down to just four people in the department that has to manage two large research areas.

--- 4 ---

I finally made it to the bank to have my name change done.  I had to wait an hour.  There used to be another branch a little closer to my house, but it shut down on August 1.  Thankfully I had my new copy of Mental Floss magazine to read while I waited.  I still need to call all my other credit card companies, but I’ll get to 

--- 5 ---

Matt and I went to see The Giver tonight.  I enjoyed it.  It has been a while since I read the book, but I really enjoyed it when I did. I recently read the rest of the books but I probably should re-read the original first.  Next on my list is to finish The Maze Runner.  I started it a few months ago, but never finished it.  I did read If I Stay and it’s in theaters right now.  Maybe I’ll go see it on my own some evening when Matt is playing Scrabble.   

--- 6 ---

I enjoy reading about my friends activities on facebook, but I get a little annoyed by all the political rants and some of the stupid shared posts that shows how gullible some people are.  The last is the one that mentions that a certain month has 5 Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and only happens every hundreds of years… blah, blah, blah.  Surely people realize that there are not an infinite number of calendars.  There’s really only 14 different yearly combinations.  The last time August had five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays was just 6 years ago in 2008.   

--- 7 ---

Fiesta Texas is getting a new 4D coaster next summer!  I’ve been wanting to ride a 4D coaster since about 2003.  I desperately wanted to ride X2 at Magic Mountain but it was closed the times I was there.  People on facebook keep mentioning me in posts of the ride announcement.  Maybe they’ll have another commercial shoot that I can participate in.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another first day of school

I survived another first day of school.  It was relatively uneventful.  I pulled textbooks, moved things around the library, and worked on some Scrabble class lesson plans.  Matt brought me lunch today and helped me with some library stuff.  My Scrabble class went well.  I gave them a quiz to see how much they remembered about the rules and we did some practice scoring.  I then started them working on memorizing their two letter words.  I even assigned homework.  I guess I’m a pretty tough teacher to assign homework on the first day. 

I got home around 5:00 and forced myself to start my 5K training program.  I’m following the Biggest Loser plan with a few tweaks since I have 15 weeks until the event rather than 10. 

Lucy seems to be doing well in spite of her splint.  She is handling it well.  She doesn’t seem to mind being in my closet.  The vet said she needed to be in a confined area without furniture that she could climb on.  I take her back on Friday to have her splint redone. 

Matt and I went to a fancy restaurant for dinner last night.  It was a high dollar steakhouse.  I ordered my steak medium well because I like it hot throughout with just a touch of pink.  The steak I got was much more medium – it had a cool dark pink center.  I had to send it back and wait another 10 minutes to eat.  Matt was almost finished by the time I got my steak back.  They at least offered us a free dessert.  I was more impressed by the place that we went to in Buffalo. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lucy is Home!

Lucy’s surgery went well yesterday.  I picked her up this morning and she seems very happy to be home.  She was a little loopy earlier it seems – she couldn’t sit still, but she finally calmed down.  I’ve created her a place in my walk in closet for her to stay when I’m not home.  She has to be somewhere where she can’t jump on furniture.  She has a large cast on her leg but she doesn’t seem to mind it too much.  I have to go out and get some more kitty litter this afternoon.  My closet was a mess so I pulled everything out and now it’s all over my bedroom.  It gives me a reason to get my laundry done now. 

lucypic 
Matt and I are going to dinner at a fancy steakhouse tomorrow.  We are going to use one of the gift cards we got as a wedding gift.  School starts on Monday.  I guess I’m as ready as I can be.  I need to create a lesson plan for my Scrabble class for next week.  I also need to create a worksheet page.

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Before School Edition


My cat Lucy is having surgery today.  She hurt her foot last Wednesday but the incompetent vet that Matt took her too somehow missed the fact that she had a broken foot.  They took x-rays of everything but her foot, gave her some pain meds, and a diet supplement.  When he took her back on Tuesday, lo and behold, they x-rayed her foot and found the fracture.  They made a referral to a surgeon (which is the only decent thing they did).  It’s going to cost quite a bit of money, but she’s my baby and she needs to be able to walk again.   
It has been a busy week at work but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  I have been sleeping much better after working all day.  We have several new staff members this year but most seem nice.  I hope they are able to handle the kids.   
I’m teaching a Scrabble class this year.  I’m trying to get a plan for teaching it.  I’m going to be writing my own curriculum.  I definitely want to incorporate a spelling rule of the week and some vocabulary instruction.  I also want them to do a research project as well.  
Matt and I are going to see The Eagles in concert in October.  I saw them with Mike back in 2010 and it was a great concert then.  I think it is awesome to live in an area where you can go to concerts like this.  Austin and Houston are fairly close and even Dallas isn’t that far. 
I am beginning to wonder if blogging is on its way out.  My friend Andrew has called it quits on his blog, which saddens me greatly, but I can somewhat empathize.  I haven’t been a very good blogger in the last couple of years, but I still enjoy reading other people’s blogs.  What I do like is being able to go back through my blog and figure out things that have happened.  I did that when I created my Scrabble board timeline of mine and Matt’s dating history.  Hardly anyone comments any more and I couldn’t even get seven people to ask questions for last week’s blog.  I’m just not sure at this point.   
I’m starting to get some of my name change stuff done, but I still have a lot of accounts to change.  I need a day off where I can sit and call all my creditors.  It was fairly easy to change it for the district but I’m having a difficult time updating outlook with my email. 
I need to start exercising.  I’ve gained a ton of weight this year and my clothes aren’t fitting well.  I was thinking about signing up for a 5K run that is taking place in February and see if I can work my way up to that by then.  I’m not a fan of walking/running, but I really need to do something.  I thought that maybe signing up would give me something to strive for – even if I walk most of the way.   
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Questions Answered

Sorry for being a day late – I started this yesterday after work, but then went out to a social thing with other librarians and then I was so exhausted, I went to bed early. 

--- 1 ---

From DK Zody: Where were you born and how did you end up in Texas?

I was actually the first person in my family that was born in Texas.  My parents and siblings were all born in Indiana.  They moved to Texas in 1968 and lived in Amarillo.  They moved to Perryton, TX where I was born in 1969.   We lived there for six years.  That was where I was hit by a car and broke my neck when I was four years old.  In 1976 we moved back to Amarillo.  I lived in or around Amarillo until I moved to San Antonio in 2011.  I still love living in San Antonio and wonder why I didn’t move here sooner!

--- 2 ---

LM asks: When/how did you become so interested in Scrabble?

I’ve always enjoyed word games.  I liked doing crossword puzzles as a kid.  In puzzle magazines, I liked doing the anagram magic squares.  Sometime in the mid 1990’s, I had a Scrabble game on CD that I played on the computer a lot.  The more I played, the better I got, but I’ve since learned a lot of other strategies from Matt.  I used to play my ex-husband, but he always accused me of cheating since I knew more words than him.  When I finally got an iPhone about 6 or 7 years ago, I played Scrabble on it quite a bit.  One of the reasons why I contacted Matt on Catholicmatch.com was because his profile indicated that he liked playing Scrabble.  Once we started playing (and dating), he taught me a lot of strategies that has helped me play better.  I rarely played bingos before I met him.  Now I average one or two per game most of the time.  Before nationals last summer, I did some studying, but I’m not as dedicated as Matt is. 

--- 3 ---

From Mago:  If I have guests it would be very rude to "end" the evening at some point, like announcing that I'd want to go to bed now or such - it would be equal to throwing the guest(s) out. The guest is expected to say when he wants to leave.
Is this the same in the US ? Or is the host expected to say "thank you for your visit" first ? Who is expected to take initiative ?

I won’t claim to be an expert on etiquette, but I’ll offer my personal perspective on this scenario.  Most of the time, guests generally take the hint when it’s getting late and excuse themselves.  On the chance that a guest has overextended their stay, I would try to drop hints about the lateness of the hour by saying something like “I didn’t realize it had gotten so late” or “Wow, it’s midnight already?”  If by chance they haven’t taken the hint, I would say something like “I hate to cut the evening short, but I have to get up early tomorrow.”  Most people would take the hint by then and most are gracious about it. Now that I’m in my 40’s, it seems that most people my age are too tired to socialize past 11:00 p.m. anyway.   If by chance we’ve been drinking or the guest has a long drive ahead, I always offer to let them stay the night.  

--- 4 ---

Jan’s question: What shocked you about Matt when you two moved in together?

I’m not sure that anything in particular shocked me when he moved in since he had practically been living here for about six months before he actually made the move.  One of the things that did shock me during the move, however, was to realize how much of a messy hoarder he was.  When I was helping him pack and clean I found saved receipts from 2001.  Instead of dust bunnies under his bed, there were dust killer rabbits.  He still had pairs of pastel colored pants that haven’t been popular since about 1986.  The other thing that kind of shocked me was learning how bad his mother actually was when we got the cold response from her regarding a potential visit during Thanksgiving.  I thought perhaps he was exaggerating to some degree and I encouraged him to work on the communication with her.  I learned my lesson.  

--- 5 ---

That’s all the questions so I’ll give you few other updates.  I’m glad I survived my first week back with all the exciting inservice meetings (note sarcasm).  The library meetings weren’t too bad this year.  It seems we had a lot of down time.  Yesterday I helped most of the librarians with creating their wiki library pages. 

--- 6 ---

My cat Lucy has somehow hurt her leg/foot.  Matt took her to the vet for me on Thursday, but it seems they didn’t have any definitive answers.  They did give her some pain medication and will see her again  on Tuesday.  So far she’s been staying under the bed in the workout room.  I’ve put her food and litterbox in there and check on her every so often.  Today she limped out into the kitchen for a bit.  She’s pretty old, but has been in generally good health for her age.  She is still eating and seems fairly happy at the moment so I guess it’s just a wait and see if her foot gets better.   

--- 7 ---

Josh has been working at a radio station this summer as an intern.  He does weekly classical music programs and was interviewed for 35 minutes for a special on Holst’s The Planets.  It’s really pretty interesting, you should listen if you have free time this afternoon.   

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My feet hurt

Today was a faculty meeting at school but this afternoon I had to continue to run around and check the setup for all the classrooms.  It seems that every time I thought I had what I needed for a setup, I was missing something or it didn’t work.  I spent the last three days dealing with all the technology stuff that I didn’t get a chance to get some of my stuff done that I needed for my librarian meetings tomorrow.  I stayed late today and downloaded software and printed a bunch of stuff. 

I had leftovers for dinner tonight.  I picked up some brisket breakfast tacos this morning but only ate one of them for breakfast.  I want to change out of my work clothes and put pajamas on, but I have to go pick up Matt at the airport late tonight.  I guess I could change into sweats or something.  His flight was scheduled to get in around 10:45 but now it’s not getting in until 12:30.  So much for getting a good night’s sleep.

I thought about taking a nap, but I don’t think I could actually fall asleep at this point.  I think it would be worse to nap and then get up and then go to sleep again. 

Matt didn’t do as well as he would have liked at the tournament.  He was pretty discouraged when I talked to him.  At least he is looking forward to coming home.  I think he’ll take a break from Scrabble for a while.  He does this when he has a bad tournament, but he gets over it quickly.