Random Musings

You ready for a big shock? Hold onto your computer chair. Your children will not be miniature versions of you. Yeah, you think you already know that. Until you’re looking at them, and you see the differences. Until they like things you don’t like – like mashed potatoes and swimming. Or they don’t like things you do like — like french fries. Or they can do things you can’t — like draw REALLY, REALLY well. They really are separate little people. I was looking at my older daughter today and thinking about our differences. Then I thought about how different I am from my mom. Mom and I talked on the phone — I guess it was yesterday now. Thirty years ago on this date, I was due. What I mean is that September 11 was the due date my mom was given when she was pregnant. She was naive. She sat around all day waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. Finally, she asked my grandmother if she should go to the hospital (she was living with my grandparents as my dad was in Vietnam). My grandmother said why, are you having contractions? Mom said no. Well, why do you need to go to the hospital? Well, the baby’s due today. To which my grandmother replied: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Another thing I was musing about? This beautiful villanelle that my husband wrote for a lost love. The words are touching, beautiful, romantic. I can’t find it on the computer. I guess he deleted it. But my favorite part goes “All the parts of me you touched are gone.” It is based on the fact that you shed your skin cells. And he was sitting there thinking about this girl and realizing that he had shed the entire layer of skin cells she had touched. I think it was a moment of finality. His feelings for her obviously hadn’t died, but all the parts of him she’d touched were gone. *Sigh*

He doesn’t sound the same when he reads his poetry as he does when he is just speaking. There is a different quality to his voice — a different cadence. He is performing.

You know, I feel lucky because I know him. The thought occurred to me tonight that the girl my husband wrote that villanelle about may never even have read it. Not to have heard those words – how sad. Her loss is my gain. And I think I know the beauty, the pain, the balled fury that he is. He is a thunderstorm — flashing grandeur, spinning tornadoes, rumbling thunder. He’s also a quiet summer rain — cleansing, pure, tranquil. I don’t feel like I am finding the right words.

Whatever he requires, whatever he wants, I want to give it to him. I want him to be happy, and I need him to love me always. I wrote about dreaming that we fought. It was horrible because when I awoke, I had that feeling that we really had fought. I had to shake myself out of that feeling. Until I did, nothing was right in the world. I need him. So simple. So overused to the point of triteness. But there really isn’t any other way to say it. I just wish he was home right now.

Diaryland Addiction and Anne Rice

How lame am I? I am actually performing active searches, looking for more diaries to read. I am officially addicted, just like Matt (laughed out loud as he described thumping his veins). I’m having trouble, though, because reading the diaries of people more than five years younger than I am makes me feel, well, icky. Especially when they discuss sex. Especially when they are teenagers discussing sex. Especially when they are teenagers discussing kinky sex. I am such an innocent. Such things would not have occurred to me ten years ago when I was last a teen. I don’t find I have much in common with the college students or the other mommies. Oddly enough, most of the mommies I’ve run across are a good 7-10 years younger than I am, too. Sigh. So I look for odd little things to latch onto in the diaries I read — commonalities, mostly. Funny, interesting writing. And (oh, the shame) basic good grammar. Drives me bonkers when I see too many errors. I’m such an English teacher… still. Does that make me bad? It isn’t like I get out my red pen when I read Diaryland, but honestly, some of the diaries are rife with bad grammar, and I just get too distracted by that to read what they’re saying.

Still like me? *Sigh*

So what am I reading now? Glad you asked. It is called Dance Upon the Air, by Nora Roberts. Shut up. In her genre, she is an outstanding writer. Anyway, what is bugging me is the plot is totally lifted from the Julia Roberts movie Sleeping with the Enemy. I mean, the woman fakes her death to escape an abusive, wealthy husband. She settles in a small town. In both stories, the husband was anal-retentive about how the wife kept house, so in both instances, the women sort of “let go” of that “everything must be perfect” mentality. Both women also fall for a local good guy and push him away at first. The stories are too close. Which makes me wonder… is it close enough to be considered plagiarism? Hmmm… The difference is that in this book, the character becomes a witch. A real witch with spells and stuff. That’s why I bought the book. I have a long-standing fascination with the Salem Witch Trials that began when I was about 11. I loved getting to teach The Crucible every year. The movie with Daniel Day-Lewis is excellent. He made me cry at the end. I read somewhere that he married Arthur Miller’s daughter. Anyone able to verify that? Joan Allen was nominated for an Oscar for her role in that movie. Of course Winona Ryder is deliciously wicked. Hell, all the characters are played well. Anyway, the premise is that this island where the book takes place — Three Sisters Island — was created when three witch sisters who lived in 1692 Salem began to fear for their lives and cast a spell to separate the little island from the mainland (and thus be safe). Anyone know any other good witch books (besides The Mists of Avalon, and don’t lecture me about them being pagans, or whatever the PC term is today — you know what I mean — or Anne Rice’s books)?

I don’t like Anne Rice’s witch books. Admittedly, I’ve only read two — The Witching Hour and Merrick. I liked parts of TWH — the parts that took place in the past. I became enamored of the 1920s flapper witch Stella. But maybe it was her name. Stella was the name of an ancestor of mine, and I find myself drawn to learning more about her for some reason. Anyway, the parts that took place in the present sucked. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I discussed it with a student. What was it that was bugging me about that book? Then I noticed J. was reading it, so I asked her what she thought of it. She said it was okay but she thought Anne Rice wrote better when she was writing about the past. And a light bulb went on. That was it EXACTLY. I loved her first two vampire books. The third, Queen of the Damned, I HATED, and I think because it mostly took place in the present. I felt like she got off track when she told the stories of the vampires Akasha destroyed — Baby Jenks and the Fang Gang? And her husband’s awful poetry all throughout the book. Ugh. I really liked The Tale of the Body Thief, though. I didn’t like the other vampire books – Vittorio I’ve already written about. Armand focused too much on a narrow span of Armand’s “life.” Again, she has a vampire that’s been around hundreds of years, but she only discusses a short span of time. She said it was because she didn’t want to write about things that had been covered in other books. Wait! Ever heard of looking at it from the other character’s point of view? Hello? I’d have been interested in seeing what Armand thought of Lestat and Louis, hearing from him why he felt attracted to Louis. How did the Théâtre des Vampires get started? Come on… Same with Pandora. Here she has a vampire who has been around for millennia and she can’t discuss anything past Roman times? She could have made a series out of the stuff that Pandora has seen. And don’t get me started on Memnoch. I nearly threw the book in disgust when Lestat drank blood from the neck of Jesus. I’m not a religious tightass, but that was too much. She just keeps disappointing me (sniff). Why do I keep reading? Good question. There is something fun about wallowing in the badness of the books and just flat out bitching about them to everyone. If there weren’t, I wouldn’t have just fluently typed this bitch session in my diary!

Well, I gotta go put some food in my kid’s belly. She wants Captain D’s fish.

All About Me, Me, Me!

I stole this from Strawburygrl, who stole it from gjacenta, who stole it herself…

  1. Full name: Dana Michelle Swier Cooke Huff.
  2. Nicknames: Well, Husband has taken to calling me “the Lady” (so has Dana), or “my Lady.”
  3. Sex: I’m a lady.
  4. Birthdate: September 17 — you may send birthday greetings if you must.
  5. How old do you really look: I was often mistaken for one of the high school students.
  6. Shoe size: 5 1/2
  7. Height: 5’4″
  8. Eye color: blue
  9. Hair color: brown with threads of silver (sounds more romantic than “goin’ gray”)
  10. School: graduate of the University of Georgia
  11. Body modifications: Only single ear piercings, but I want a tattoo.
  12. Ever been involved with the police: Not really.
  13. Best thing you’ve done this summer: Oh, I guess maybe for myself, it would be starting this diary, because I am writing nearly daily, and sometimes more often, and really feel like I’m getting better at dealing with things. Plus I am learning more about Steve, and he’s learning more about me.
  14. What shampoo do you use: Aussie Mega. 3-Minute Miracle conditioner in case you wondered.
  15. Do you have any pets: No, but I have had lots of cats and a beloved German Shepherd.
  16. Do you collect anything: Stamps, books (I like autographed ones), Celtic stuff.
  17. Favorite day of the week: I would have said Saturday before, but now that Steve works that day and I’m not working, it would be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday -Steve’s days off.
  18. Favorite candy: Right now it appears to be Starburst jelly beans. Really, it is a German candy bar called Milka. It is milk chocolate and hazelnuts. I love hazelnuts.
  19. Favorite thing in your room: Well, it is a bit spare right now, since we’re still not set up, but it used to be my four-poster cherry wood bed. Until it was broken.
  20. Favorite food: pizza
  21. Favorite restaurant: Carrabba’s
  22. Favorite record: Tough question. I guess Physical Graffitti or Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin.
  23. Favorite song: My husband singing “Nessun dorma.”
  24. Favorite radio station: I don’t have one.
  25. Favorite ice cream: Mocha almond fudge. Breyer’s makes it now, but I think it is only for a short time (sniff).
  26. Favorite thing to do on weekends: Since Steve mostly is at work, look around online, watch T.V., and generally veg. That’s different from the rest of the week how?
  27. Favorite season: fall
  28. Favorite characteristic about yourself: Hmm… I think I’m fairly thoughtful.
  29. Favorite sport: If I have to pick, it is figure skating. Shut up!
  30. Favorite hangout: Don’t really have one, besides home.
  31. Favorite toppings on pizza: pepperoni and black olives
  32. Favorite Sesame Street character: probably Ernie. Maybe Cookie Monster.
  33. D you believe in aliens: Yes, but I don’t think they’ve been here. I am not so close-minded that I am not open to the possibility that there is life out there besides us, but unless they figured out how to travel faster than the speed of light, which physics as we currently understand it won’t allow, then I don’t believe they’ve been here.
  34. Do you believe in yourself: sometimes
  35. Do you believe in reincarnation: No, but I think we inherit our ancestors’ memories, which makes us think we’ve actually lived their lives.
  36. Do you believe in love at first sight: Yes. Experienced it (as much as you can online) with Steve.
  37. Do you have a religion: I’m a recovering Southern Baptist. I guess I would basically call myself a Methodist, mainly because Husband and I were going to a Methodist church – he’s Methodist. Although according to a quiz I took yesterday, I ought to be an Orthodox Quaker (?). Funny enough, lots of my ancestors were Quakers.
  38. If you could have any occupation: novelist
  39. Your dream car: I don’t dream about cars.
  40. Your dream house: Tudor-style house with at least four bedrooms, medieval accents as decor — hell, if it is a dream, then I want a castle in Scotland or Wales.
  41. What age do you want to get married: I first married at 21 (cringe). My second marriage — 29.
  42. How many kids do you want: I don’t know. I have four, sort of. Two natural children, two stepchildren. I’d like to give my husband a son. But frankly, childbirth hurts like a sonofabitch, so I’m not sure I want to have more than one more.
  43. Have you ever named your goldfish: Yeah, I have had goldfish named Goldie (how original), Rainbow, Bubbles, Baby, and Spink.
  44. Have you ever sat through an entire Dawson’s Creek episode: Never even seen part of one.
  45. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring 3 people, who would they be: This is hard, because I need to bring the stepchildren too! I need to bring 5 people.
  46. What do you wear to bed: It depends.  I’m not fussy.
  47. What’s your bedtime: I don’t have a set one.
  48. Do you wish on stars: I’ve been known to.
  49. Is there a TV in your room: yes
  50. What’s the last thing you do before you fall asleep: Cuddle with Steve.
  51. Person who knows the most about you: Steve
  52. Any siblings: younger sister
  53. Furthest you’ve been away from home: Germany
  54. How many schools have you attended: 10, including colleges — three elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, and two colleges.
  55. Do you get along with your parents: not lately
  56. Who’s your 2nd family: Steve’s family.
  57. Vanilla or chocolate: chocolate, baby!
  58. Oddest dream: Since I’ve been on Prozac, it is nearly every damned night.
  59. Your favorite Halloween costume: Actually, it was my daughter’s first costume. She was a panda.
  60. Do you play any music instrument: Flute and guitar fairly proficiently. I’ve also played French horn, clarinet, violin, and dinkered with the piano, but I can’t really play it.
  61. Do you glow in the dark: no
  62. Do you possess magical abilities: Sadly, no.
  63. Can you name all four Tellytubbies: Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po. I have children.
  64. Can you name all the members of ‘N Sync: The only one I know is Justin Timberlake. Probably because he’s in People the most. My older daughter Sarah was talking about ‘N Sync yesterday. She was telling me about the ‘N Sync Barbie. Oh, and stepson Ryan is a boyband member in the making. He talks about ‘N Sync all the time.
  65. Can you name all the members of BSB: I don’t know any of their names. Oh wait — is the rehab guy A.J. McLean?
  66. Favorite color: green.
  67. Favorite television show: That’s hard. I’m not sure I have one. I like anything that comes on A&E, TLC, the Discovery Channel, or the History Channel about the Celts, British legend or history, or the royal family. I like Star Trek: The Next Generation. I also like Talk Soup and Jerry Springer — it is like watching animals in the zoo. Fascinating.
  68. Favorite clothes: Jeans and a tee-shirt.
  69. Favorite store: Petite Sophisticate
  70. Favorite soda: Coke
  71. Favorite actor: Hmm… maybe Daniel Day-Lewis. I’m not sure.
  72. Favorite actress: I’m not sure I have one. Maybe Julia Roberts, since I consciously tried to copy her look.
  73. Favorite music artist: Steve… well, okay, you want someone you’ve heard. Hm… I can’t think. I guess Sarah McLachlan.
  74. Favorite group: Led Zeppelin or the Beatles
  75. Favorite type of music: Mostly ’80s. I love classical, though.
  76. Favorite movie: Braveheart
  77. Favorite person in real life: Steve
  78. Favorite person on the net: Steve
  79. Least favorite person in real life: My first boyfriend, but since I don’t have to deal with him at all, I guess it would be various members of my family (never my husband or kids) at various times.
  80. Least favorite person on the net: Those crazy women who get crushes on my husband.
  81. Least favorite television show: sports
  82. Least favorite type of music: I agree with Straw, here — rap and hip-hop.
  83. Least favorite song: I don’t know. Maybe the one that plays on the keyboard my parents got my daughter. Grrr… Now I’m even growling like Strawburygrl.
  84. Least favorite movie: Too many. Probably the first Pokemon movie. It was mind-numbing. I felt my brain cells dying.
  85. Least favorite group: Too many. Rap and hip-hop artists everywhere.
  86. What are you most known for: I don’t know. Ask my husband. Maybe that I’m small and look younger than I am.
  87. What is your talent: writing
  88. If a friend was to describe you, what would they say: I get called sweet a lot.
  89. Have you ever been suspended or expelled: No. I only had one detention, too.
  90. Your greatest fear: Losing my husband.
  91. Best accomplishment: Writing a novel.

Spooky Stories and Marriage

Steve may have gotten me addicted to Art Bell — well, at least the Friday-night ghost-story fest. We fell asleep listening to it. Check this out — they told one that took place in the town where I worked, where I taught high school, where I went to high school! This is an international show, and here they were, talking about this (sort of) little town. Amazed me. I had heard a bit about some haunted places there. I used to assign outside reading to my students, but they were allowed to pick whatever it was as long as 1) their parents gave them permission to read it, 2) it was longer than 200 pages, and 3) it wasn’t a young adult book. Now, you might think most of them squeaked by on the minimum requirements, and there were those who did, but generally, they relished the freedom of the assignment so much that they would wind up choosing challenging material. One student read Gone With the Wind. Another read philosophy tomes. Lots of the girls picked Oprah books — which was fine by me. But I had this one special guy who picked really out there stuff to read. One of my favorite students. He read a book on astral projection and made this really cool board game based on the book. I had to let him and his peers play it during class once. Then he read some ghost-chasing book in the For Dummies series. Lots of people probably think I shouldn’t have let him read things like that, but hell, he met all my requirements, and he enjoyed the hell out of something he was reading. If you all only knew how rare that is — that an English teacher gets to enjoy teaching kids who like what they’re reading! Anyway, I think the story that the guy told on Art Bell was one of the things this student discussed in his ghost-chasing journal.

There were some damned spooky tales. I think the one that really scared the piss out of me was the one about the mirror. This woman had an antique mirror. She had it in her bedroom. Night falls, and I guess she can’t sleep. For some reason I didn’t quite catch, she was looking at the mirror. A pair of eyes — not her own -appeared in the glass. They scanned the room, then met her own eyes dead on. Then this mouth appears with this frightening smile, like it had her. She threw a lamp (I think) at the mirror and ran out of the room. Her family thought she was crazy. It chilled me to the bone.

I had something kind of scary (but not that scary) happen to me when I was about 13. I was thinking lots of scary thoughts, like stuff about Satan (I was obsessed with the idea that the devil was out to get me when I was a kid), stuff about the construction worker who had been killed while building a house across the street (we lived in a new neighborhood). Then BOOM! My music box starts playing of its own accord. I didn’t touch it; no one did. It just started playing. I flew — and I mean flew, because I don’t think my feet hit the ground — into my mother’s room and told her what happened. I had to sleep in there with her because I was too scared to go back into my room. I told Steve about it, and his theory is that it was a poltergeist, because 12-14ish girls tend to attract them — or something like that. I’m sure he’ll set that record straight in his diary.

I have been devouring Matt’s diary. He should join my Happily Married diaryring — he gushes about his husband almost as much as I do about mine. Plus we went to the same college and he lives close to me. I guess I can get by with revealing that much. Now if he just liked opera… His entries brought tears to my eyes. There were a couple of times there when he was describing things that are very familiar to me — like your family not being able to accept the person you love and the pain that causes. Reading about how his father acted when he came out, reading about his mom and sister at his wedding. Gosh. I called my mom to tell her Steve and I had gotten married. She went dumb, just like Matt’s mom did when he came out. She told me she thought I was making a mistake. It was hard to have to deal with anything that would mar that beautiful day.

We had decided to do it the night before. My divorce had been final for a while, but we were still waiting on his. Anyway, Steve says screw it, let’s just do it tomorrow. Tomorrow! We got online to find out what we would need. We had to drive out of state because our state requires a blood test, and we just didn’t have time. So we got up the next morning and drove about three hours. We married in the hallway of the city hall, right in front of the Christmas tree. A little man who just sat around all day performing weddings for people who got marriage licenses performed the ceremony and took our pictures (which didn’t turn out because he didn’t use the flash — devastated me). I wore the dressiest maternity dress I could find – a yellow one with pretty flowers on it. I was five months pregnant. We called Steve’s mom to tell her the news, and she was ecstatic. She doesn’t know it, but part of the reason she has my undying love is that she accepted me and put her love for her son and his happiness before some fundamentalist set of values. Guess which road my parents took? Call me Hester Prynne, y’all. One of the most disheartening things to learn is that your parents’ supposed “unconditional love” for you does indeed have conditions. So I, like Matt, was dying to move away, and now we have, albeit not as far away as he might be moving. I feel a certain amount of freedom in that. I like it here. I love my home. I can see myself living here for some time. Now, if I can just find a job…

Da-Da, K-Mart, and Birthday Presents

Baby Maggie  said “Da-Da” tonight.  That is freakin’ amazing.  She’s going to be six months old in a few days.  That’s early, isn’t it?  I know she was really saying it because I would say “Say Da-Da.”  And she would say “Da-Da.”  It’s amazing.

I made an excellent supper tonight.  Steak and herb and garlic potatoes.  I bought that George Foreman grill.  I love it!  Works great.  I love the Super K-Mart here.  I got everything I needed in one store.  I got the grill, the steaks, the potatoes, silverware, steak knives, a chef knife, a toaster, an onion, and cooking oil.  And I checked it myself at the self-checkout, so I didn’t have to wait on anyone.

I will be 30 in 12 days.  Husband said he is going to do “12 days of [my] birthday.”  He brought home Pepperidge Farm chocolate mocha Salzburg cookies (remember, if I was a flavor, I’d be mocha), a book (The Good Spell Book: Love Charms, Magical Cures, and Other Practical Sorcery, and a beautiful card.  Yes, I do know how lucky I am.  I am married to a man with intelligence, passion, wit, caring, beauty, and thoughtfulness.

And How Was Your Day?

(Andrew, just in case you ever come across this diary, this grammar bitch has finally got to get it off her chest. “Noone” is not a word. It is “no one.” I feel better now.) Ah…

I’ve figured out a temporary solution to my problem with the hot water heater/no hot baths. I had a similar problem at the apartment I lived in when my oldest was a baby. I got around it then (because I was naive and didn’t know that hot water heaters could be adjusted) by boiling two kettles of water and adding it to my bath. Worked like a charm then. So I just finished a long, glorious bath in my huge tub. I used my pumpkin spice bath gel because autumn is approaching, so I want to smell autumn-y. After I dry off a bit, I plan to follow up with the pumpkin spice body lotion. Mmmm… smells yummy. I love scented bath items. I have lots of that stuff, but I will never turn down more. Bath and Body Works is heaven. I have raspberry, lavender, and honeysuckle (my favorite scent in the world, but lavender is my favorite to wear). I could do some serious damage in Bath and Body Works. I don’t really like perfume, though. I prefer to layer on scent by using bath gel or cream, lotion, and if I really want the scent to linger, body splash.

I am feeling better today. I went out and had breakfast with Steve and baby Maggie after we got Sarah to school. Bless her heart. It was raining this morning, and I didn’t want her to have to stand in the rain at her bus stop until the bus came, so I drove her to the stop and waited with her in the car. The bus arrived. Sarah got out of the car as quickly as she could with a backpack tangled around her feet and ran to the bus. The bitch bus driver closed the door and drove off like she never even saw Sarah. Another mother honked her car horn at the driver, who apparently didn’t think it was meant for her. I was pissed. Sarah burst into tears and ran back to the car. I comforted her as best I could and told her it would be okay, I’d take her to school. Her school board is going to be hearing from me tomorrow. NO ONE treats my kid that carelessly. Even if the driver didn’t see Sarah, then there’s still a problem. The driver is obviously not as observant as she needs to be if she can unknowingly close a door right in a 7-year-old’s face and drive off. I don’t think it is asking too much for a bus driver to allow a second grader an extra second, especially when she’s running. Ticks me off because Sarah likes riding the bus so much that she told me the other day she wants to be a bus driver when she grows up. I told her she can do or be anything she wants. And today, after school, even after what happened, she told me she still wanted to be a bus driver when she grows up.

We had supper at McDonald’s. I am addicted to the Big ‘N Tasty. I didn’t even care that it had cheese on it. Sarah got Chicken McNuggets. She is the only kid I know who doesn’t really like french fries. Not even McDonald’s french fries. How can she be my kid?

Then we went grocery shopping. I got baby Maggie her first step 2 foods. The label said they could be fed to babies from about 4 months. She’s nearly 6 months. I went for it. She is such a good baby. I swear, she rarely complains, and she is hauled all over the place.


I was reading Radical Bunny’s entry about all the concerts she’s seen. I don’t know who most of the bands are, and it made me feel old. What concerts have I (do I remember having) seen?

Let’s see:

Eric Clapton was the first. Mom let me skip the last half of the school day with my boyfriend so I could drive two hours away to go to the concert and hang out in the big city. Funny. She was not usually that cool.

Jimmy Page/Robert Plant twice. Was in the nosebleed section the first time. Better the second time. Still couldn’t see well because I’m short. Both times I went with my (now) ex-husband. The second time, his friend Andy, a fellow teacher (History) tagged along. I vowed never to go anywhere with Andy again. He started this annoying seat-slapping thing. I was a bit tipsy at that show.

The Replacements. It was near their demise. Paul Westerberg got pissed, threw down his guitar, and stormed off stage. It was a pretty poor “replacement” (ha) for the Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert I had tickets to, but which my friend R. cancelled on me. In those days, I had no driver’s license, even though I was 19 (long story), and I couldn’t get a single soul to go with me. Not one! How can anyone say no to a free C,S,& N ticket when I offered to pay for gas too? I’m still bitter because I heard later they played “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Probably the best concert. He gives a really good show. But some twit nearby had to listen to a damned ball game on a radio while the concert was going. Why did he bother to come? I don’t care if it was the World Series.

Let’s see. I saw some local bands. I really can’t remember all their names. I saw Kevn Kinney and Peter Buck. Saw the Wallflowers and Counting Crows (awesome show). We were in the pit. Jakob Dylan got into an argument with some drunk redneck.

I am so boring. No wonder my hits are dwindling. Sigh.

Pipe Dreams

Goals (Pipe Dreams?):

  • Get my book published
  • Find a job (actually, that ought to be first)
  • Hell, find a fantabulous job that I will love and that has great benefits, on site daycare, and liberal vacation
  • Finish my Teresa Wentzler “Fantasy Triptych
  • Quit feeling depressed
  • Create some snazzy diaryrings
  • Go to the British Isles!
  • See a Shakespeare play, preferably my favorite, Othello or my second favorite King Lear, at the New Globe Theatre in London
  • Decorate my house in medieval accents (I love Design Toscano)
  • Get more involved in the SCA, and finally get my AoA
  • Research my and my husband’s genealogy (I’ve already done a great deal of mine)
  • Make something out of cross stitch for my mother-in-law
  • Hell, make something out of cross stitch for my husband
  • Get some poetry published
  • Design a Tudor home and have it built
  • Hell, own a castle in Scotland, Wales, or Ireland — or even England
  • Make perfect scented candles for my new house
  • Stop coughing
  • Be a better wife and mother
  • Grow an herb garden so I can make my own comfrey ointment, among other remedies
  • Find out exactly what herbs Carrabba’s uses with its bread and olive oil and grow them in my herb garden so I can have that treat whenever I want it
  • Write another book
  • Learn archery
  • Read more
  • Make some really good friends — not just work acquaintances
  • Give my husband a son
  • Go to my next high school reunion a successful writer
  • Stop hurting Husband with my diary
  • Go to Pennsic at least once
  • Be a better housekeeper – even (strangle me now) an enthusiastic one
  • Have enough money to hire a maid who will be an enthusiastic housekeeper for me
  • Make my family proud of me
  • Make some beautiful SCA garb
  • Get a part time job as a minstrel at the Renaissance Festival

I’m sure I’ll think of more some time. Watch this diary for more dreaming.

Mourning the Death of a Career

I’ve been feeling very disgusted about my job search. I’m a college graduate. I graduated magna cum laude from a large university. I should be able to pick and choose. And I actually found myself seriously considering putting in an application as a waitress at a pizza joint. Seriously. What bugs me too is that I feel pressed for time. I need to find one soon, or we’ll be in financial trouble. And I simply haven’t had time to look like I really need to.

This time of year, well, it was always a new start. That’s what my old job gave me – teaching high school English, I mean. I got new students. I got a chance to do better. And part of me mourned not getting to do that this year. Not getting the do-over. The chance to be better. I have dreamed of school, students, and my old faculty peers every night for weeks now. Yes, I wanted to quit, but this has been harder than I thought. I am mourning the loss of my old job. Dana was right. She said in my guest book that once you’re an English teacher, you always will be one. So now I guess I feel a bit purposeless. Sort of drifting. I don’t know. I want to reiterate that I did really want to quit. I did really want to move on and do something else. But I’m disappointed. At times, that job was great. Like when student R. asked me to be her mentor even though I was no longer her teacher – just because she liked me best. Like when students really got interested in what we were learning. Like when students said they liked a book we were reading. J., who was a pain in the ass and every teacher I know hated teaching him, devoured The Great Gatsby over a weekend. He loved it more than he would ever let on. It wouldn’t be cool to reveal that, you know. And I never got to teach some of the literature that I really wanted to – British Literature. It is well-known among English teachers that teaching British Lit. is the prize. Every English teacher I have known decided to teach English out of a love for British Lit. I’m such a King Arthur nut – I would have loved the opportunity to really do King Arthur up right. So this has been bittersweet – watching my daughter start school, buying her school supplies, meeting her teachers. After all, I am not starting school, no one bought supplies for my class, and I didn’t meet any parents. Not that I was particularly a fan of doing so, but I digress.

So am I depressed? A bit. I’m mourning my old career. It will lessen over time. If only I could find a good job, I would know I made the right decision. If only.

Musing About My Daughter

I have very little of interest to say tonight. I am plagued by allergies, which aggravate my asthma. ::Cough:: I slept most of the day. I think that is okay, considering how badly I slept – kept waking up coughing. Ugh. How charming. Try cuddling with your husband, hacking your ass off. That has got to be as annoying as hell.

My Sarah is a big girl. She rode the bus to and from school all by herself today. She had homework – read for 10 minutes (we started the first Harry Potter book), do her math page, and write sentences using her spelling words. I can’t resist. I have to share her cute little sentences. I preserved them as she wrote them – incorrect usage of apostrophes and capitals, misspellings of non-spelling words, and use of the nonexistent word “alot” included. She made them up all by herself.

I Just Crosed The Street.
I had a nice dream last night.
bee’s Have Stinger’s.
I Saw a Beautiful Stream.
We Have feet to walk on.
I scream aloud alot.
A hot Stove has Steam in it.
I like to eat ice cream alot.
My mom likes tree’s very much.
I like to meet other people.

Isn’t she too adorable?
It grows late, and I must awake before the dawn to walk Sarah to the bus stop.