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. 

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.   
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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 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.   

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to work

I didn’t want to get up this morning, but that is not a surprise.  I made it to school by 8:00.  I spent most of the day pulling out equipment and entering information in the computer.  It wasn’t very exciting, but it has to be done. 

After work I went by the credit union to talk to them about a loan I applied for online.  I was approved, but I wanted to change the term of the loan.  I was there about an hour, but I walked out with two cashiers checks to pay off my credit cards. 

I thought I was going to see my brother tonight.  They were in town going to Sea World, but he hasn’t returned any of my calls.  I finally went out and picked up some dinner at Sonic.  I thought of my friend Andrew while ordering.  I got the Asiago chicken club sandwich and a mini butterfinger blast. 

At least after getting up early and working all day, I should be able to get to sleep easily tonight.  I’m already feeling pretty tired and it’s not even 10 yet. 

Matt didn’t have a very good Scrabble day today.  He only won 2 games out of 7.  I hope he has a better day tomorrow.  He will be coming home late on Wednesday.  I’m ready for him to be home.  We rarely spend much time apart.

For those of you that submitted questions last week, I’ll answer them for this Friday’s 7 quick takes.  I could still use a few more questions if anyone is wondering anything that I haven’t covered in my blog in the past 10 years. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Honeymoon edition

I did plan to answer your questions this week, but I found that typing on a Kindle is more difficult than it seems. Your questions require a more in depth response so I'll post answers next week. Besides, I still need a few more questions from readers.

So we made it to Buffalo on Tuesday but I ended up going to an urgent care clinic after dinner. My left eye started to bother me on the plane and I realized that it wasn't going get better. Turns out that I have a corneal ulcer probably caused from wearing contacts again. I got some high powered antibiotic drops that have finally helped after three days.

We went to Niagara Falls on Wednesday and it was spectacular.  We took the Maid of the Mist boat tour and got some great pictures. I'll have to post them when I get back home.

It turns out that sometimes I'm really stupid. (Shhhh don't tell anyone.)  We bought discount Darien Lake tickets from a supermarket on Wednesday. We headed to the park early Thursday only to realize that I had forgotten the tickets at the hotel as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. We had to go all the way back to get them and it was about a 25 minute drive one way.

The theme park was ok but Matt couldn't ride the best coaster there because he was too tall. He was 2 inches taller than their maximum height allowed. After I rode it, I realized it was a precaution due to some parts where the coaster goes under the track and is a tight fit.

We ate at a very nice and fancy restaurant on Wednesday night. I've found that if you want a really good steak dinner, sometimes you have to splurge and pay for it. The service was outstanding and the food was amazing. The steak was cooked exactly right and very tender and flavorful. 

Matt registered for the tournament today. We ate at a good BBQ place for lunch and I had a drink with moonshine in it!   We are going to an opening reception tonight and then I will be heading back tomorrow evening.  I go back to work starting Monday.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Questions anyone?

I appreciate DKZody asking her question in the previous post’s comments.  Remember that for me to post my 7 quick takes this week, I need six more questions from the handful of people still reading.  Is anyone still there?  Leann?  Andrew? Jan? Mago?  LM?  Jamie?  Summer?  My new commenter Jeanetta?  Surely there is something that inquiring minds want to know. 

In other news, Matt and I went to a Scrabble party at a friend’s house north of Austin yesterday.  It was nice to socialize, but playing five games of Scrabble against people that are all better than me kind of sucked.  I would have won a game had I known that “zitherns” was a word.  I knew “zither” but didn’t realize it could have an “n” on it as well.  I hate the moments after a game when you figure out what you could have played. 

Today will be a busy day of getting stuff ready for our trip.  I need a new suitcase as mine is falling apart.  I don’t think duct tape will hold it together enough to survive the brutal handling of airline crews. 

I guess I should finish up my coffee and start getting stuff done this morning.  I need to pay some bills and see how much money I’ll have left for the month. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

7 Quick Takes – August 1

--- 1 ---

I started the name change process on Monday.  I figured that Matt shouldn’t miss out on the fun and since it was his day off, I had him go with me to the social security office and Dept. of Public safety.  It is such a pain to wait at the SS office.  First you electronically sign in and then wait an hour.  After that you’re called back for “Pre-screening” – I guess they make sure you’re there for a valid reason.  then you wait some more.  Finally after almost 2 hours I get called to a representative and it takes all of two minutes to enter the information.  The DPS office wasn’t as bad – it only took about 20 minutes.   

--- 2 ---

Matt and I went to the eye doctor on Monday.  It wasn’t really planned, but Matt’s glasses broke and couldn’t be repaired.  Since it had been two years since I had my exam, I figured I’d get mine taken care of as well.  We headed to the mall since I needed to drop my rings off to soldered.  We had to go to two different doctors since the first one didn’t take Matt’s insurance.  We both ended up getting contacts and glasses – though they both won’t be ready until after our upcoming trip probably.  My new classes are purple!  I’ll post a pic when I get them.  

--- 3 ---

We started using some of wedding gift cards this week.  At Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I bought photo frames for our wedding pictures.  At Target we got new towels for the bathroom.  Matt wants to get an edger at Home Depot and we need hardware for our kitchen cabinets and drawers.  We have some Visa gift cards that we’ll use on our honeymoon probably.  If not, we’ll use them on something once we get back.  We still have quite a bit to spend at Amazon as well.   

--- 4 ---

As you can tell from the previous post, I’ve been playing with Shutterfly.  It’s certainly interesting, but a little limiting in terms of design.  I had a coupon for a free book in addition to 50 free prints.  I was able to add free shipping as well so I bought two books, 80 something 4X6 prints and a dozen 5X7’s for around $40.  I think I’ll be getting another coupon for a free book from Wedding Wire so I’m sure I can create another book.  It’s kind of addicting.   

--- 5 ---

I called Southwest Airlines earlier this week to find out what I needed to do about my upcoming trip and my name change.  They added my new name and said that I’d have to bring both the old ID and the new temporary ID and my marriage certificate.  I also got a new car reservation through Priceline getting a deal for $32 a day when rates on regular sites started around $53.   

--- 6 ---

I’ve been on a YA reading kick lately.  I’ve been browsing Pinterest ideas for my library lately and I’ve decided that I want to have a March Madness reading contest with 16 books that they students can read this year.  I’m working on my list of books so I’m trying to read several to see if they will work for my list.  And then some I’m just reading because I want to.  As a middle school librarian it helps for me to actually know about the books I’m recommending to my students. 

--- 7 ---

I was pleasantly surprised to get a comment on the previous post from a reader just down the road from me.  Although I don’t check my stats much any more, I’ve been wondering who still actually reads my blog.  I’m trying to do a better job of posting – at least I’m trying to commit to the weekly 7 quick takes.  Next week I won’t have a computer with me, but I thought of an idea that I could do to write an early post and then have it post next Friday.  The idea involves my handful of blog readers that have stuck around.  So here’s your task if you choose to accept it:

Ask me any question you would like to know and I’ll answer it for next week’s 7 quick takes.  I promise to try to answer anything as best I can – as long as it is not blatantly offensive or an obvious joke.  So if you’ve been a closet reader or just haven’t commented in a while, I’m hoping you’ll participate.  You can ask more than one question, but if I end up with more than 7, I’ll pick the best questions.  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!