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Mar. 5th, 2008


Sweet memories...

OK, I'm really not that sentimental (yes, really I am, but I pretend not to be), but today is a sad day for me.

Almost 19 years ago, my husband and I started dating. We were madly in love immediately, and the song that touched us more than any other was "Angel Eyes" by The Jeff Healy Band. We listened to it over and over and sang it to each other when it wasn't on the radio or we didn't have our cassette within reach.

It's still played at a lot of weddings we attend, and yes, we still dance to it. Every chance we get.

Today I learned that Jeff Healy lost his life-long battle with cancer. I immediately went to iTunes and downloaded the song, and during my 5th period class Hubby and I danced once again to our song with an audience of over 20 teenagers.

And to remember Jeff Healy, here's the song. (Please forgive his mullet. You have to understand it was 1989 and he was blind after all.)


Feb. 4th, 2008


The ol' "Get it off my chest" post

The one thing I absolutely HATE about teaching is how attached I get to my students.

And the deep pain I feel when I lose them.

A couple of years ago, I had a student who had all of the potential of being brilliant, but he wasted all that potential on drugs and alcohol.  It wasn't a secret.  Everyone knew he had problems.  And he was proud of it.  He had too much fun not to do the things that destroyed him.

One day in class, he was so messed up that he passed out in class.  I immediately called security.  He was sent home in the care of his father.  The next day in class, he tried to convince me it was cold medicine.  I didn't even pretend to believe him, and proceeded to yell at him about his stupid choices.

The next day, I wrote him a letter of recommendation to get into college.

The following Saturday night, I went to a coffee shop where another student was singing and playing guitar.  "Druggie" was there so messed up, he couldn't even stand.  I had to leave after the second song because I couldn't sit there and be a witness to it.  I told some of his friends to get him home ASAP before I walked out the door.

The following Monday, I again yelled at him for throwing his life away.  He didn't even remember seeing me at the coffee shop just two nights earlier.  I told him that if he didn't straighten up, he would end up dead.  I begged him to understand me, but he laughed and said he knew what he was doing.

Another weekend came and went, and on Monday morning a student ran in my room and said, "Did you hear?  ________ died of an overdose."

I ran out of the room crying, so fucking angry with him and everyone around him for letting it happen.  And angry at myself for not making myself clearer.

During this time, his best friend, who I also had in class, was in rehab for a month.  When he returned, I jumped in his arms, he swung me around the room, and we cried together.  He called me a year later saying he was still clean.  I have no idea about him right now.

A year later I met _________'s father at an anti-drug speech at my school.  I introduced myself and he started crying.  He said that ____ always talked about me, said I was the only teacher who gave a damn about him.  My letter of recommendation was hanging on their refrigerator.

And now... now it's about to happen again.

I had a student for two years.  He made me so angry with his decisions, but more importantly, he made me laugh every day.  I took a chance on him and let him on my newspaper staff, against the wishes of the school's administration.  And I made it clear to him of my expectations, no drugs and no alcohol.  There were no second chances.  If he got busted once, he was off the staff.  He was brilliant, writing the funniest articles.  Halfway through his junior year (last year) he quit school.  I kept up with him through his best friend who I am so close to, he calls me his surrogate mother.  This morning, best friend came to me with grave news.  The former student was at a party Saturday night, got drunk, and drove home.  While on a windy road, he lost control of his car, crashed into a fence, and a 2 x 4 impaled him.

Somehow, right now he is still alive.  They got the wood out of his chest after 14 hours of surgery, but infection is starting to set in.  I do not know how in the world he will survive this.  He is in a drug induced coma to help him heal.  My thought is he will never wake up, though I am obviously hoping I am wrong.

Shit like this makes me not want to care at all, but I'm just not that type of person.  One of these days, maybe, someone will listen.

Sorry for the sadness... I'm usually not Debbie Downer.  And sorry for any typos.  I'm not editing this one.

Jan. 11th, 2008


around the corner...

I just joined a new writing community all_unwritten , and I'm going to give it a go.  My writing has been slacking lately, and I'll see where this takes me.  Some of the writing may be autobiographical, some may be purely fiction, but I just want to warn you in case I have an odd post that it may be a fictional piece.

Today's prompt is the subject of the post.

There is a church.  It's quite new, and if one so feels the need to do a google earth search, its location is shown as a bare plot of earth My house shows a boat in the back yard.  Google earth should update.

The church is scary in the mornings.  I see the outdoor light rays pushing their way through fog and dew, wrapping their way around dead trees between the church and me.  Sprinting to my car and quickly going into reverse, I escape the reach.  I shudder to think what may happen if the light ever reaches me.

It is a prophecy church. Apparently God speaks to them and they forecast the future just as wooly worms forecast the weather.  I wonder if God speaks to the worms.


Jan. 8th, 2008


I'm going to stop making promises...

Did I seriously say today I would start the daily outfit posts?

I don't remember saying that...

Did I really?


Well, folks, I came home from work, changed into my comfy yet not appropriate for public or visitors outfit, then remembered I never took a picture of the decent outfit.

Because I screwed up, I figured I'd take some rather ugly pics of myself for motivation.

So here's the official "Ugh, no daily outfit" pic:

Obviously that is not the best pic of me, but I love that my eyes are open.  When I smile, my eyes turn to slits.  It's so refreshing to see a picture of me and actually see eyes.  It's crazy that my eyes look blue.  They're actually very green.

Oh, and don't forget to notice the horrible lip fungus.  Pretty, ain't it?

Here's a small quiz.

In the following picture did I:

a) Try to fool myself by pretending I didn't know I was taking a picture of myself,
b) Get terribly distracted by an approaching ghost
c) Actually think it was chic to look like this
d) Accidentally hit the button on the camera before I was ready

I have no clue what the correct answer is.

Finally, here is a pic of one of my favorite shirts to wear to the gym. A group of students made a bunch for a teacher and his students and gave one to me. Notice how small "Mr." is.

I must say I have a jolly time on the treadmill announcing my love for johnson.

Still no ciggies. I'm eating so much it's scaring me. I'm trying to be good and eat fruits more than anything else. Last year, I actually counted my calories. Maybe I can get myself back to that level of dedication. I'm just so very scared of gaining weight.

Jan. 7th, 2008


I am happy to announce...

I did not smoke today.  Not at all.  Didn't even want one!  Woo Hoo!

And since school officially starts back tomorrow, I will start with my daily outfit pictures.  I don't have a full length mirror in my house, and I truly have no way of knowing how my clothes look on me.  This should be good for me... I hope... to know what I truly look like.  I'm warning you, not all of my outfits will be stellar.  Teachers have a strict dress code at my school, so you'll be viewing me with limitations.

My fever blister did NOT go away yet.  This truly sucks because teenagers love to make extremely inappropriate and rude comments about them.  Not that I truly care what a 14 or 15 year old says about me... but it can get annoying.

Oh, and I have to give a shout out to my dear friend Buzz and his gorgeous wife near DC.  THEY JUST HAD A BABY!  So Buzz, if you're reading this, your little man is soooooooooo handsome!  You must send me more pictures.

Jan. 6th, 2008


(no subject)

I caved!  It was the third glass of wine that did it to me.

Stupid fucking wine.

Hubby asked me what I was feeling before I went to the basement to light up.  It's so hard to put into words to make a non-smoker understand, but I think I found it.  Nicotine makes you metabolize things differently.  We found that out the hard way when I realized my blood sugar kept dropping and insane rates.  I seriously had to change my eating habits when I quit last year because of my blood sugar.  Since I went through that, I was prepared with this quit and haven't suffered any serious drops (if you've never experienced low blood sugar, you're lucky).

Anyway... I can only assume I am metabolizing the alcohol differently, and since I've never drank without smoking... all I can say is it just doesn't feel right.  The buzz, the taste, the whole experience is just wrong without the nicotine.

I'll get it down eventually, but right now, I can only smoke.

I'll not smoke tomorrow.  Promise!

Jan. 5th, 2008

let me out

It's raining...

It has been a very slow start into the new year. Part of that is due to my insane idea that quitting ciggies was a good idea.

OK, I know it's a good idea... but the timing was just off. I'm hosting an "After Christmas" party for my husband's extended family on Jan. 12. Just one week away. The invitations promised beer pong. How can I host a function with beer pong if I'm not drinking and smoking?

My husband told me to just throw caution to the wind and drink and smoke for the day. If I'm stressing more over the not smoking rather than how my house looks or what in the hell kind of meat am I going to cook... I apparently need to allow myself that one day. I was surprised he offered me this, but it did take all the stress of the event away knowing that just for the day, if I go a bit crazy, no one will think less of me if I light up.


Look what I woke up with the other morning.

I know it's a bit dark, but you see it, don't you? My lip is so swollen and dry from this stupid fever blister. How am I supposed to feel good about myself when this yellow crusty blistery scab is resting in the dead center of my lip? Here's hoping it's gone by Monday morning when school starts again.

One good thing has happened since I quit smoking. I've taken up knitting again. I never thought I would like knitting, and I used to laugh at my sister for days when she would visit with her insanely large knitting basket. But she somehow taught me the basic knit stitch, and through research, I've taught myself more, but there is still so much more to learn. My goal is to make an Irish fisherman's sweater. I'll probably be 80 when that happens.

Anyway, I decided to start back slowly... nothing too difficult. It is very cold in my house, and my shoulders were cold on this particular night (god, I sound old). I decided I wanted a long wrap... something stylish that I can wear in public, and something warm and soft to wrap up in at home. So I found a soft yarn and a pattern that uses just knit and purl. The result is a very loose rib that may be hard to see in the picture.

Here is what I have so far. It is around three feet long so far, and I'm not sure how wide it is going to be since it's crammed on a needle. I am assuming it will be two feet wide.

And here is a detail picture; although, the detail is kind of hard to see. But you can make out the color and how soft it looks.

When it's finally done, I'll take a pic of myself wearing it.

Jan. 4th, 2008


Just tryin' to hang in there

I had dinner.  It was a nice salad that my husband threw together with mixed lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, green pepper, carrots, and tomatoes.  I topped mine off with left over taco meat and guacamole.  It was amazingly good, and I was sooo stuffed afterward.

As I scooted away from the table, I almost said, "time for a smoke."

But I mentally had to remind myself that I'm no longer a smoker.

I'm numb.  Not angry or sad, which is good I suppose.

Jan. 3rd, 2008


I resolve...

1.    I resolve to do a better fucking job on this journal, that's for sure!!!

I've been very lazy, as you have seen, with this journal.  It's not fair to you!  So, more pictures, more updates, and more interesting stuff.  Promise.  And in addition to this, I'll do a much better job of keeping up with your journals.

2.   I resolve to quit smoking!

It's day 3 and I'm still doing OK.  I snapped at my youngest daughter this morning for absolutely no reason... but even at 7 years old, she understands what I'm going through.

Day 1 was easy because I smoked so much on new year's eve that I don't think I could have smoked the next day if I wanted to.

Day 2 wasn't too bad, but during one conversation with my husband, he mistook an act of kindness as a "bitchy lack of smoking" moment, and he walked away from me in mid conversation.  Boy... talk about an argument.

Day 3 is now.  It's almost noon and I haven't done ANYTHING.  I'm being lazy, but the thought of a cigarette is pretty gross, so I guess I'm still doing OK.  Just a couple of weeks of cravings, and then it's just me maintaining the quit.  That pretty much means no alcohol for a while.

3.   I resolve to be a better spiritual person.

I absolutely HATE talking about religion, so I'll refrain from it here other than to just mention that I turned my back on Christianity eight years ago.  I discovered the umbrella of paganism at that time, met some great friends, and practiced regularly.  We weren't a coven, just a group of friends getting together really.  Anyway, there was a nasty falling out about a year into the group, and we all split up.  Since then, I've sort of been drifting.  I need to stop drifting and start acting!

4.   I resolve to take better care of myself.

This is a continuation from last year, when I resolved to care about my appearance.  That actually stuck.  I'd say about 90 percent of the time when I leave my house, I take care in picking my outfit.  Sometimes I throw on a sweatshirt and jeans, but sometimes the situation calls for that type of outfit.  But even when I have on the sweatshirt, I still fix my hair... I still look nicer than I used to.

Anyway, this year's continuation is to work out!  Are you ready for this?  This summer marks my 20th High School Reunion!  Twenty fucking years since I've graduated.  And I want to look smashing!  I'd say I need to lose about 10 pounds, maybe.  I'm not overweight... I know that... I just have a bit of flabby stuff hanging around my middle and the back of my arms.  So occasionally in this journal I'll post something about my weight and my progress.  And maybe I shouldn't even be concerned about weight.  What I really want to do is tone up.  With that comes muscle weight, which is more than fatty weight.  Hmmm... I guess I'll just be concerned with how my clothes fit me, huh?

In case you're wondering, I'm 5' 6", 130 pounds, and I wear a size 8 in jeans.

and finally...

5.   I resolve to do a better job in financial matters.

There's really no need to expand on this.  Financially I'm fine, I could just do a much better job at saving for my family's future.

Nov. 18th, 2007


(no subject)

Been gone for a long while... sorry.

One week ago I spent the night at Waverly Hills Sanitarium. No, I'm not crazy... or I may be when you find out what Waverly really is.

I'm not sure how famous Waverly is outside of Kentucky, but understand that it has supposedly been named the most haunted place in the Eastern United States. It has been featured on just about every "ghost hunting" tv show there is. Yes, folks, I paid $50 to spend 4 hours in this beautiful and beautifully haunted building.

The history of Waverly is extensive, but all you really need to know is that it started out as a tuberculosis hospital with an estimated 63,000 deaths during it's time of operation. There were many people in Louisville getting very sick from tb in the early 1900s and a hospital was desperately needed. Once the tb scare was over, the hospital closed in the early 1960s, then reopened as a geriatric hospital that was forced to close in the early 1980s due to patient abuse. The building stood empty on this hill, overlooking all the life surrounding it. The building itself was dead.

I can offer local lore about Waverly, and even mention the bull shit that happened when an asshole tried to have the building condemned so he could build a disgustingly large cross of Jesus. But that is not important to my story. What is important to know about my story before it begins is 1) I'm a chickenshit, and 2) I've always had an intense admiration for this building, long before I knew it's story.

Before I begin my story, here is a lovely introduction to the hospital. It's 7 1/2 minutes of the building in daylight so you can see what I actually walked into (except I was there in darkness).

Click here for more scary videos.Collapse )

I had a very interesting night at Waverly. Heard things... felt things... saw things... Very creepy. I'll give you my personal story later tonight.

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