Sunday, February 27, 2005

pass the broccoli

with an hour left to go before i go home, i finally got my hands on the sunday paper. john rosemond's article this week echoed a problem i have at school- parents who cater to their children- especially when it comes to cuisine- read it here . i grew up hearing the phrase "i am NOT a short order cook. you will eat what is on your plate, and if you don't want that, here's a spoon to go dig up some worms." it amazes me how so many parents these days let the children dictate what they'll eat- if junior doesn't want the steak, mama throws together a few chicken nuggets. as a consequence, kids at school are notoriously picky eaters who refuse to touch anything that doesn't look like it came in a paper bag with games on the outside and a small prize within.

something to think about. i've got to get back to the paper before heading off to my temporary home for the next few days. (overnight babysitting for more than i make at any of my other jobs.) until later...........

Saturday, February 26, 2005

my bag has an appetite for destruction

somewhere in the depths of my bag lurks a page from the george carlin 2005 page a day calendar i got for christmas. i noticed it this week as i was trying to catch up (so far, i'm up to february 20th- i'm on a roll). anyway, i was flipping through the calendar and noticed this particular page and said to myself, "wow- that would really work for a blog entry." of course, now that i've actually sat down to ramble into my blog, i can't find the page.

i'm convinced my bag eats things. it's an improvement over my trusty backpack, which was known to swallow whole notebooks on a regular basis and spit out only the bindings and a few tattered pages. i still have the backpack hanging in my closet- mostly for sentimental reasons- though i think the last time i dared put anything in it was....well.....before my last birthday, when i got my spiffy newish bag. as i mentioned on my wnok website, i am a big fan of keith haring's work. somehow, my significant other managed to find a backpack and one of those over the shoulder messenger bag sort of bags with keith haring's barking dog icon on them. i resisted using them at first (ridiculously strong sentimental attachment to my old backpack), but then i discovered i could actually fit more stuff into these new bags. as a bonus, the one i drag around on a daily basis is an obnoxious shade of orange, with a bright green logo on it. i'm not sure whether it's black light-friendly or not, but one of these days i'll check it out. the new backpack is what i take with me on trips, and it has come in handy when hiking, though there are a couple of packs better suited to the serious stuff (i.e. grand canyon) that i've been coveting since my last trip to l.l. bean.

but back to my bag's enormous appetite. i suppose it wouldn't eat so much if i didn't shove in a file cabinet worth of stuff. if i took inventory right now, i could come up with at least five magazines (mostly unread- that's why they're in there- hoping i have some free time to leaf through their glossy pages.), two lesson plan books (one from last year), a couple of avon catalogs (just in case i ever work up the nerve to boldly hand one over to a random starnger), at least one bottle of nail polish (also hoping i'll get some free time), my address book, a stash of cards (i should start on my march birthdays sometime soon), my planner (can't leave home without it), my glasses (even though my contacts are in and i forgot to bring their case to work with me), a computer disk (gotta get those lesson plans written for next week), and, since i'm a girl, i have to have at least two of each major emergency staple- lip balm (no lipstick- i'm not that girly), nail files, band aids, hand creams, and those products that make boys squeamish. somewhere in this heap lies that lonely, defenseless calendar page.

i packed this page last night, while on the phone. i owed a friend a phone call for at least the last month, and the occassion arose last night. you see, the world of radio is a fairly small one, and last night i was listening to this friend spew some trivia about the old harry chapin tune "cat's in the cradle". he wrapped up his trivia by saying mr. big covered the song in 1991. (not chris noth on sex and the city- mr. big was a early 90s rock band- perhaps you've heard their ballad "to be with you"? no? how about "just take my heart"? not that one either? they were hits- really.) anyway, he had his 1993 folk song covers mixed up: ugly kid joe (my first concert, by the way) covered "cat's in the cradle", and mr. big did cat stevens' "wild world" within a few months of each other. since i nearly ran off the road fussing at the radio for this minor error (these sorts of things bother me- i'm a little weird that way), i felt compelled to call and give him hell about it. besides, like i said, i owed him a phone call. so, it was while talking to him that i lost george carlin's page. and when i opened up my planner to check the mr. big/ugly kid joe note i'd scribbled down, out it fell.

so.....(drumroll please)....without further adieu, the february 15, 2005 page on my george carlin page a day calendar said:

"The mayfly lives only one day, and sometimes it rains."

something to ponder later, after i finish cleaning out my bag.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

it's official- i'm a dork.

i heard from an old friend today. well, let's be honest- he's more than an old friend- he's the guy formerly known as my boyfriend. ("ex-boyfriend" makes it sound like i feel negatively towards him, which i don't. let's face it- sometimes, relationships just don't work out.) anyway, you know how no matter how much you love your current significant other- and believe me, i do- there's always that one that got away? well, that's who i heard from. sure, i realize it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway- we're both different people now, but i admit i still smile when i see his name in my inbox. (note to self: change email password again.) i emailed him a few days ago to find out how he was doing (serious health issues, and of course i still care...)and his reply came today. here's what he said:

"I checked out your site.'re a dork. I'm sorry."

the fact that the took it back in the next line and said he was only teasing is irrelevant. he called me a dork.

yep, he obviously still digs me :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

five minutes.....

i have just five minutes left before i have to drag myself back to work. have you ever noticed how hard it is the first day back at work- whether you've been out 10 days, or just one? i had to take an early lunch break, so my assistant can leave early to drive up to new hampshire for a few days. oh- and right before i left, the last child in my class came to school. one of my biggest pet peeves- parents who don't feel the need to call when their child is going to be late or absent. it drives me bonkers! i do things that have to be planned for- art projects and whatnot. and it is NOT helpful to yell into the classroom during naptime that your child has arrived. arrrrggghhhh. one day, i will write a parenting book. until then, if your child is in any sort of school, do the teacher a favor and call if you're going to drag your child in late- especially when everyone else is trying to sleep.

thanks for letting me vent- i feel better now.

on the bright side, it's gorgeous outside, and i believe we will play outdoors all afternoon. oh- and it's almost friday.

back to work. yee-haw.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

seashells and other obsessions

i bought two cool new toys i'd never seen before today. mama and i drove down to charleston on a mission for spanish pottery (her) and gnomads (me)....oh, and the beach, since i cannot be within 30 miles of a beach and not stop to pick up seashells. bodhi (one of my gnomads- you know, i think my latest hobby is actually bordering on obsession. could it be a bad sign when you form travel plans around a 4 1/2" tall plastic toy? ah well, i'll look into therapy for it later.) was unable to join us, since he still hadn't returned from his trip to the superbowl, so we took along f-stop (my latest gnomad), as well as aurora, whom we gnome-napped for the day.

in charleston, we bought mass quantities of pottery, wandered around to rainbow row (somehow underwhelming, but i have a sneaking suspiscion we weren't looking at the section they've prettied up for postcards), checked out a couple of toy stores (struck out), and then williams-sonoma (did NOT strike out- when i get a house, i'll need a big kitchen with lots of storage), before wandering back to the car and paying an outrageous $4 to get it out of the lot. our next stop was mt. pleasant, where there were no gnomads to be found, though that didn't stop me from buying 7 rubber duckies and two of the coolest toys i didn't need but had to have anyway.

from mt. pleasant, we took a wrong turn, righted ourselves, and ventured out to isle of palms. we stopped at the subway on the way to the beach, then bypassed the parking meters in favor of the public lot ($5 when attended, free when unattended. thank goodness it's not tourist season!). we ate a late lunch on the beach, surrounded by seagulls and a few intrepid blackbirds, who nearly pecked each others' heads off over a few bits of bread. i wandered down to the beach to collect shells while mama guarded the gnomads and camera.(i guess that house i'll have one day will have some sort of rock/shell garden, as i am incapable of going to a beach without picking up a couple dozen seashells.) one of her coworkers (also down from maine, apparently), screamed her name repeatedly, though it was mispronounced, so neither of us paid any attention initially. (note to any of mama's coworkers who may be reading this- the accent is on the FIRST syllable- not the second.) anyway, introductions were taken care of and small talk was made. coworker's companion asked yours truly if i went to school here in columbia. while flattered (i guess the combination of braces and youthful good looks throw people off), i was a little disappointed that she was referring to college. (normally, i get accused of being in high school. i must be getting old. dammit.) after a few moments of pleasantries, they wandered off, and i resumed hunting for an ever-elusive intact conch shell and/or sand dollars.

so anyway, about these new toys of mine. one is a little sandcastle making kit, and the other is a jar of 100 plastic beetles that form tessellations. they're currently perched on one of my piles (not the recycling or goodwill- both went out yesterday, thankyouverymuch), waiting for me to clear a space.

all for now- sorry it's not terribly interesting, but i have a little cleaning to do before i can dump sand all over the desk and build a house with a big kitchen and seashell garden.

Monday, February 21, 2005

i can see four piles and piles and piles.......

i'm home sick. school's closed today, but we're all supposed to be in charlotte for a bunch of classes. since i was scheduled to work at 104.7 wnok until midnight, the prospect of waking up at 5 a.m. with probably about 4 hours of sleep under my belt and then driving two hours to get to the meeting place made me ill. i haven't had a full night's sleep since about tuesday, mostly due to working one job or another until midnight each night. i also had reason to lose sleep otherwise, but i'm feeling better now. at any rate, i didn't crawl out of bed this morning until after 10, and i'm feeling a little bit better.

i've been trying to cut down on clutter lately. i'm a born piler. you know the type- everything lands in a pile. sometimes the piles have a common theme, sometimes the common theme is "i can drop this next to the front door and maybe move it later on". (makes you want to sign up to be my roommate, doesn't it? kidding.....) after awhile, the piles begin to resemble the leaning tower of pisa, and if i forget to prop them back up, they start looking like mt. st. helens (post-eruption)....which reminds me- is she still smoking? i've lost track. maybe i'll google it later and see.

anyway, i finally looked around at the piles and decided it was time to move some of the contents into trash/recycling/goodwill. (the recycling pile is currently the washington monument leaning on the lincoln memorial, but i hope to get rid of it well as the jefferson memorial currently under construction along the backseat of my car.) this was partially inspired by mama's visit. she couldn't sleep on the futon, because it's currently holding up all the stuffed animals i can't bear to part with. plus, she hates futons. she's opted to sleep on the couch, which, until saturday night, held a few boxes, a couple of "fuqqet puppet"s (mama's creation), several unread magazines i'd dragged back from kansas city last october, and a giant stuffed walrus that groaned when you squeezed its tail. i wound up on a cleaning binge, which is why the trash can is full, and i have modeled several washington, d.c. landmarks out of boxes of recycling.

i have yet to declutter my room, and i'm afraid it needs it the most. in addition to my covered futon, i have books stacked all over the place, binders of lesson plans precariously balanced upon one another, just about every copy of blender magazine sitting unread in the corner (the subscription was free, and then they extended it.), a corner (and then some) full of craft materials (for school and babysitting), and while i'm pretty sure there's another chair in here, i haven't actually seen it lately. admittedly, the worst part of my room is in the doorway. i call it "the pile". "the pile" is comprised mostly of magazines i want to keep intact, ads and articles i've ripped out of magazines, and i'm not really sure what is contained in the box at the base of "the pile". it's a horrible eyesore, but i don't think i was up for any "house beautiful" awards anyway. one day, i'll get around to taking care of "the pile" when working till midnight on a semi-regular basis pays off and i can afford a large house with a room dedicated to nurturing "the pile". (mama, if you're reading this, i heard that groan.)

that's enough for now. i need to find decent pictures to add to my webpage, right after i finish building the white house out of my goodwill pile.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

i'll finish this later...maybe

i seem to be my most productive when i am procrastinating. i've spent 9 1/2 out of the last 10 hours doing everything but writing my lesson plans for this week. i had to do my live shift on wnok from 10 a.m. till 2p.m., and of course i had to concentrate on my shift, so i couldn't very well work on lesson plans then. instead, i worked on more mindless tasks- checking in with various message boards to see what was new, clearing out a couple of pieces of spam from my inbox, looking for airline tickets to phoenix in may (i can do it for $250! i was quite pleased with myself for finding that deal.).....stuff that needed to be done, though not necessarily today.

at 2:00, i went over to babysit another radio station. i tried to start on my lesson plans, but the sunday paper was sitting right there, and despite the absence of opus from the comics section, i read the whole thing (minus boring sections, like business, sports, and real estate). my mom came into town around the time i finished the paper, so i had to call and con her into bringing me some m&m fudge she'd brought down from maine for me. i had to visit with her when she came, and that ate up a couple of hours. in addition, a good friend i hadn't seen in awhile happened to be in the building, so of course i had to talk to him for a little while. (in the process, i arranged for one of my gnomads to accompany him on his honeymoon to italy in early april.)

everyone left about an hour and a half ago, taking most of my procrastination excuses with them. i sat down to work on my lesson plans, but then i realized i needed to create some flyers to go out with the avon order that came in yesterday. (keep in mind i'd intended to make up these flyers a couple of weeks ago, but somehow never got around to it.) so, three different versions are done. now the only thing standing between me and my lesson plans is this blog entry. after all, i haven't done one all day, and i suppose i need to give the one person who reads this (besides myself, of course) something new to look at.

yesterday, i thought of a million topics to write about. can i remember any of them now? of course not.

speaking of yesterday, i found myself at one of those huge electronics stores last night and wouldn't you know it- "the greatest american hero" was on sale. $17.99 later (plus tax), it was all mine. (the dvd i bought my mom was on sale, so i figured it worked out. now, all i need to do is find time to actually sit down and watch the dvd......currently the first seasons of alf, mork and mindy, and 21 jump street are all gathering dust on my shelf for that reason.)

so anyway, here i sit, with my lesson plans sitting on the counter, half done, several magazines on the other chair in the studio.......wait a minute....i should read those, because then i could stop carrying them around. and there are a couple of boxes of catalogs i need to label so i can pass them out and maybe i should attempt to paint my nails.....and then i can get back to this before i finish my lesson plans. it's brilliant! i can accomplish so much while further putting off my necessary duties! i'd better get started. until later.......or tomorrow.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

fisher stevens and the masks we wear

i've been thinking some deep thoughts this morning.

last night, i babysat until around midnight. i like babysitting- the money's usually better than what i make at my full time job, and i usually have 1/6th the kids to watch. last night, after we finished artwork and dinner, we sat down and watched a couple of movies. i don't generally like plopping kids down in front of the t.v. while babysitting, but that's just the way the evening flowed. anyway, when i packed the babysitting bag yesterday, i initially picked out one of my favorite movies- the princess bride. (it was a rough week, and there's nothing like rattling off lines from that movie while watching a young cary elwes (anyone else think he vaguely resembles val kilmer?) to lift the spirits. actually- let me take that back-real genius works better, but i'm afraid i can't tote it along when babysitting- there are just way too many lines in that movie i don't want to explain to a 7 year old.)

anyway, the princess bride didn't make the cut. in fact, it wound up back on the shelf in favor of the gods must be crazy (one of the girls' favorites from my collection) and short circuit 2, which i hadn't watched in a while, and you most likely have never heard of, aside from a brief mention in just about every article on fisher stevens written since the late 80s. (whatever happened to him, anyway? i suppose it'll give me something to do later, when i should be working on next week's lesson plans instead.)

i hadn't realized the related themes until this morning, as i sped to work. in short circuit 2, two of the main characters want nothing more than to fit in. johnny five, a robot with a distinct personality of his own, wants to be treated like a human, even though he is obviously different. his friend ben, is indian and wants to become an american citizen- so much, in fact, that he spends most of the movie studying for his citizenship test. the movie teaches a couple of valuable lessons- first, fisher stevens with a tan and a dye job, can be made to look convincingly indian. second, (and more importantly- and not just because i can work in a little depeche mode here...) people are people ("so why should it be you and i".....sorry.) and everyone deserves to be treated the same. both johnny five and ben spend the duration of the movie worrying about "fitting in". however, this led to some deep thoughts this morning- does anyone really "fit in"?

on the other hand, in the gods must be crazy, the african bushmen have no desire to fit in with modern society. xi, one of the main characters in the film, spends the duration of the movie trying to return a discarded coke bottle to the gods who dropped it from the heavens. (actually, it came from a litterbug airplane pilot.) during xi's journey, he has several interactions with "civilized"man, and in the end, he returns to his tribe, rather than choosing to assimilate himself into mainstream society.

perhaps we all outwardly try to fit in. i mean, there are two sides to everyone, right? there's the "public" you- the person you let everyone see- the guy/gal new acquaintances know, and there's the "inner" you- the person only you (and maybe close family members and your significant other and one or two very close friends) know. perhaps our "public" persona is something we create in an attempt to "fit in", whereas the "inner" person is our true self. why two personas? is it because we (okay, i) fear not "fitting in"? like, if someone doesn't like you, is it easier to say "well, they don't really know who i am anyway?" rejection is always easier to take if you can rationalize and say "if they knew the real me, it'd be different". it's as if we need a tough shell to protect our insecurities and vulnerabilities from the outside world.

i just heard an ad for "The greatest american hero" on dvd. i watched that show when i was little- ran around the house singing the theme song and everything. i tied my favorite blanket on like a cape and jumped off the couch regularly when no one was looking. (note to mama: just kidding- diana did it.)

that show could fit in with today's deep entry as well. however, the caffiene hasn't kicked in yet, and deep thoughts make my head hurt after awhile anyway. besides, curiousity is getting the best of me, and i have to google fisher stevens.

Friday, February 18, 2005

can't get you out of my head

"i went skydiving....."
i was on the phone with a good friend earlier, pondering songs that get stuck in your head, like a gnat in one's ear. i've been filling in some shifts at the country station in our cluster, despite my intense dislike of country music. the great part about picking up the extra hours is that rush i get every two weeks when i open up a slightly bigger paycheck. the downside, however, is that lately i've been getting country songs stuck in my head. (current least favorites: whatever that new leann rimes tune is- something about love not making sense-, and "live like you were dying" by tim mc graw.) i attribute this to the fact that the shifts i cover are countdown shows, and both songs are apparantly quite popular right now. (it's the south- it happens, i guess.)

"....rocky mountain climbing......"
anyway, usually when i get a song stuck in my head, i go with the flow. if it's something i like (i.e.- just about any 80's tune except "mickey" by toni basil or styx's "mr. roboto"), i can sing along or play the cd it's on once to get the underlying desire to hear it taken care of. if it's something i don't like (i.e.- "mickey" or "mr. roboto"), usually throwing in one of my favorite cds and listening to it will work. however, the country music in my noggin just won't quit! i have tried blasting inxs' kick album at full volume. the neighbors were not thrilled, and tim just kept singing. i've tried making a parody in my head a la weird al, but it didn't work- i don't think even he would tackle that stuff.

".....two point seven seconds......."
i've tried thinking happy a trip to spain i took a few years ago with my mom. we bought stuffed bulls in barcelona....

".....on a bull named fu manchu...."
and don't you hate it when you get, like, two lines from a song stuck in your head. so you're sitting there mentally going "blah blah blah blah i went skydiving....rocky mountain climbing...i went two point seven seconds on a bull named fu manchu....blah blah blah....i went skydiving...."- like there's a scratch on your mental record (or cd, for you young folks) and your needle just can't get past it?

".....i went skydiving...."
i seem to be back to where i started. i should call my friend and tell her to check my blog now- so she, too, can mentally sing (and blah blah) along.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

a fairytale character for the technological age

it's taken me a couple of days to get back to my blog, and i have a perfectly good reason- i made the mistake of checking my email. it seems the spam fairy, with nothing better to do, took a dump in my emailbox. i've spent the last couple of days wading through "incredible" offers for free performace-enhancing drugs (will they help my acting?), explicit videos (trying to cut down, but thanks.), missives from my "soulmate" (who should realize i'm not into chicks- must have me confused with some other duff), and if i'm offered one more free car/laptop/ipod/camera/shetland pony, said "gift" will be hurled at the computer screen. (well, maybe not the shetland pony- i think it would be kind of cool to have one, actually.)

anyway, by the time i shoveled out my inbox, my lunch break was over, and i had to get back to my herd of two-year olds at school. by the time i got anywhere near the computer again, inspiration had left and i was reduced to stalking my own gnomads.

after all that, what was i going to write about? i can't recall- maybe i shouldn't have turned down the "incredible free memory-aid kit" the spam fairy left me this afternoon.

Monday, February 14, 2005

you've got mail (not necessarily your own)

about a month and a half ago, my dad started receiving junk mail at my address. this was strange enough, because my father has never lived in south carolina, and, to the best of my knowledge, has not even set foot in the state for about 3 1/2 years. first, the mail started as a trickle of credit cards offers. then random catalogs started filling up my mailbox. the final insult was when he started getting address labels with my address on them. I DONT EVEN GET ADDRESS LABELS WITH MY ADDRESS ON THEM! so, i did the rational thing and gave him a website to go to (, i believe it was), to fill out an online "change of address" form. i figured once that was taken care of, all would be right with the world. sometimes, i'm really naive.

one of those official confirmation cards from the postal service arrived in my mailbox a couple of weeks later (along with dad's "midwest living" subscription offer). i glanced at it, saw that it was marked "individual only", checked to make sure the mail would be forwarded to the proper place (his address for the last 12 1/2 years), and tossed it into the recycling pile. next time, i'll hang on to such a vital piece of paperwork. about two weeks after that, dad's mail stopped showing up in my mailbox. unfortunately, all of my mail went with it. my roommate's mail disappeared, too- though we still haven't worked out where it wound up. (that's okay- his last name isn't even remotely resembling either mine or my dad's, which are one and the same, so i have a hard time working out why his mail was redirected, too.)

after four days without mail, i got an email from my dad, thanking me for the subscriptions to vogue and spin, as my magazines were now showing up at his place. i called the local post office about five minutes after i opened that email. the lady on the line assured me that the change of address had indeed been marked "individual", and therefore my mailman must have taken it upon himself to right the perceived wrong and forward everything. i'm still not sure how to thank him. i called my dad that evening, told him i'd set things straight and that a note had been scribbled out to our mailman letting him know that only his (dad, not mailman) mail should be forwarded and everyone else should be left alone. dad's reply? "your credit card and electric bills showed up today." uh, can you send those back before both my electricity and line of credit are shut off, please? thanks.

when we went to the apartment office to renew our lease a couple of days later, i asked the assistant manager if she could have a talk with the guy, as we'd gotten our mail (including dad's) one day, fiollowed by nothing the next. as the ink on our lease dried, i scribbled out a note to put in the mailbox that plainly stated the roommate and i still inhabited the apartment, and dad did not. (i even named names, including all of my aliases, just to clarify for this bright spark.) when i showed up to pay the rent a few days after that, i was told the mailman claimed that "family" was checked on the forwarding order. (which, i suppose, is why our mail continued to be all or nothing for the rest of the week.)as i passed the mailman on my way home, i thought about pulling him aside and explaining the situation in words of one syllable, but didn't think i could be polite....and didn't want to ruin his "newspaper reading" time.

so, i suppose, a month and a half after all this started, we are getting back to normal. there's generally mail in the mailbox, though at least half is dad's....which he wants forwarded, by the way. in fact, i scribbled "not at this address! please forward to:...." on about twenty priceless pieces of mail that had built up and shoved them all in the "outgoing" mail slot this afternoon. i haven't checked my mailbox yet this evening, but i wouldn't be surprised to find the entire stack back in there. (actually, i almost look forward to it, because then i can call the post office again and rant and rave and tear somebody a new one and maybe even help this guy to the unemployment line.)
so here i sit, with about 20 minutes left before i get to go home, and i've accomplished very little today. sure, toby's office is now a spiffy shade of blue (some of which is still all over my fingers, by the way), and i've read the sunday paper (except the comics- wonder how i missed those. then again, they haven't been nearly as interesting since the state newspaper decided to stop carrying opus.....but that's a thought best explored in another entry)...and other than that, i've accomplished pretty much nil.

and i think i'm too tired to start feeling ambitious right now.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

have i sold out?

it seems like everyone and their mother has their own blog these days. in fact, i'm not the only duff with a blog. when i tried to register a name for this, "duff" was taken, and so was "duffstuff". so, i had to settle for its present title- i guess the other duffs don't muse randomly. (was that even approaching proper grammar?)

anyway, i tend to swim upstream- go against the trends. this time, however, i'm giving in to peer pressure out of necessity. i can't gripe on air at 104.7 wnok for more than about 30 seconds at a time, and most of my thoughts are more than 30 seconds long. so- sit back and relax- even i'm not sure where this ride may wind up.