November 30, 2004

Writing

No progress on anything. I've thought about writing, though, if that counts. An old story line keeps intruding on my thoughts, beckoning me away from current artistic (LMAO) obligations. I'm resisting but not very well. Small scene snippets, dialogue, and character-development ideas get through to my consciousness every now and again.

My vampire romance is no longer my main focus. Now that NaNo's done, which I failed miserably by the way, it's time to focus on ED again. ED sucks majorly by the way. I'm tempted to trash the entire thing and let it marinate for a while. There's a few things I'd like to salvage but most of it needs major overhauls. Do I continue to push through on the basis that this is a "first draft" or should I cut my losses now?

Arguments for Keeping On:
Nothing is out in the mail.
Writing, thanks to RL, is always agonizingly slow for me.
It's taken two years to get this far.
It is salvagable with some major revision.
I'm unbearably negative today and tomorrow I might not think its a heaping pile of dung.
The general premise still excites me.
This is only a rough draft.

Arguments for Trashing It:
I'm disgusted with my writing.
I'm afraid my characters are flat, two-dimensional, creatures that will bore any reader worth his or her salt.
I'm not having fun.
Editing is okay, rewriting terrifies me.


But this book is suppose to be a learning experience. Leaving my confort zone could be very beneficial. If I keep writing on ED, force myself to do a true rewrite, I might have something worth selling.

Work

Things continue to worsen at work. Can't divulge any details but I can say I'm not a happy camper and I wish I were independently wealthy. I'd so cause a stink.

Learning How to Read

Who knew it could be so hard to teach a six-year-old little boy how to read? A show of hands, please. Ok, you bunch of know-it-alls, hands down.

Maybe I'm delusional but I seriously didn't expect to discover such jaw-clenching frustration during this phase of my son's education. The truth is reality has become a mockery of my parental expectations. Maybe I thought he'd get it by osmosis or maternal telepathy (reading has always been so easy for me!). I'm not sure how I managed to convince myself he'd be able to grasp the intricacies of reading but I did. Not only would he be able to grasp all the rules, he'd get the exceptions, too.

Insert a big, fat "Ha!" here.

Oh, he's learning, but not as fast as the school seems to think he should. And I hate the feeling that they think my kid is dumb. Stupid. Challenged. I don't care what terminology you apply, it stinks just the same. He is none of these things. He's a boy. A very busy, easily distracted, eager to play, little boy.

I realize the school has to test him like a cowpoke herds cattle but I don't have to like it. Forcing him to meet state and federal regulations at the expense of his self-confidence pisses me off. He's learning. He can read his sight words and then some. Admittedly, he has some trouble with his vowel sounds: he can't keep them straight.

And the rules...by golly, the rules are totally escaping him. Simple rules like "if there's an e on the end, the vowel in the middle says it's name." This one trips him up every time!

I don't know how to help him. He reads to me, I read to him. We do flashcards. I found online books for him to read. I take him to the library.

What can I do to help him learn this stuff? Why is he not getting it?




Begin Minor Side-Rant:
This year in addition to learning how to read, they've given him spelling words. Not a big deal except when they send home this week's list with same-sounding words like there and their. Is it just me or does it seem a wee bit early for this kind of trickery? There's no conceivable way kids who are just learning how to read are going to be able to use these words in their proper context. Asking them to is asinine.
End Minor Side-Rant.

November 24, 2004

Happy Turkey Day!



Be safe and don't eat too much!

I'll be back in a few days.

November 22, 2004

Busy Weekend

Sometimes the weekends are so busy it feels as if I've hardly had a chance to sit down and relax. When you work full-time inside and outside the home, sitting and relaxing can be very important. It's good for your health, mental and physical.

This weekend was so very busy. No wonder I'm sitting here exhausted.

Friday:

Friday night, after work, we picked up the kids and drove out to my cousin's house. My hubby had fixed her computer and as payment she and her husband took us out to dinner. We went to the Capri, which we used to frequent on our double-dates during high school. Only it's been 16 years and there were four extra people sitting at the table: our two boys, their two girls. It's hard to believe the four us--me and my husband, her and her husband--used to regularly go out on double-dates and now we're all married and procreating. Two sets of high school sweethearts. What are the odds?

After dinner we went back to their house. I looked at her scrapbook and helped her with a two page spread while our kids destroyed the playroom and our husbands watched the Piston's game. We had just cleaned up the messes (scrapbooking and kids toys) when the Piston's game erupted into foolishness. I've never been so ashamed of our fans! I sincerely hope the video tapes lead to some arrests. And I'm glad the NBA acted quickly and decisively with their punishments to the players involved.

Saturday:

I cleaned my house. This may not sound all that impressive but you have no idea how dirty it was! I swept and mopped, vacuumed (including doing the edging and the stairs), did laundry, cleaned the two main floor bathrooms.

I also had to take a quiz and participate in the weekly discussion thread for my online class. I'm so ready for this semester to be over! And I'm wondering why I'm torturing myself with another class in the Winter...

After finishing housework and homework, I finally jumped in the shower and got ready to go out. A group of us (me and the hubby, his sister and her hubby, and our best friends) were going to the movies. Once ready I had to drop the kids off at my dad's house and rush back home--hubby had shot a doe prior to my leaving and was hoping the other two guys would be able to help him get it hung up. Of course, that didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped, which meant we were even more rushed than we already had been.

But what did all this rushing result in? Arriving at the theatre five minutes before the movie was scheduled to start only to find a line stretching across the front of the building. A line! Well, the first showing of National Treasure was at 7:15 and the next wasn't until 10:00. We had nearly three hours to waste. So, we went out to dinner, which turned out to be a lot of fun. We ordered appetizers and dessert with our drinks and spent the next two hours talking and laughing.

The movie was pretty good. Very long, though. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. by the time we got home.

Sunday

I had set the alarm for 8:00 a.m. to make sure I had plenty of time to get myself ready for church and then to get over to my dad's house to get the boys ready. Perfect timing. I got to my dad's to find his girlfriend and my sister (the one who is living with him because her husband's an ass) had fed the kids breakfast. I put the boys into the shower, got them dressed, and ready to go in plenty of time. Then my sister and I, with our four kids, went off to church while Dad's girlfriend went off to AA.

After church I went home, changed into comfy clothes, ate lunch, and packed up my scrapbooking supplies. My sister-in-law had invited me and my sister over. So while our children--a total of 7--played outside and napped, we scrapbooked. I got a two-page spread done, my sister got one page done, and my sister-in-law got three pages done. Not a very productive session but I guess some progress is better than none.

I got home around 6:30. While I took care of my stuff, hubby made dinner for the boys and himself. (I did the microwave thing for myself) After we ate, my 6 year old had reading homework to do, which both hubby and I helped with. After homework it was finally time to settle the kids down with a movie.

Finally, at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening, I was able to sit down and relax!

November 19, 2004

Frightened by Our Future

If you don't want to read about politics or religions, skip this post.

I'm not much on politics. I watched a debate here and there, I browsed the candidates websites, and I based my vote on what information I had. Apparently, I voted for the underdog as he's not been elected to office. So be it. I may not be happy about Bush's reelection but I can appreciate the process by which he was elected. My fellow countrymen (and women) voted for the candidate they felt best represented our chance at a successful future.

I know many people are enamored of Bush because of his religious zeal. The consensus seemed to be "if you're truly a Christian, you'll vote for Bush". Guess that leaves me out. Oh, I believe in God and Christ. I've been baptisized of my own free will and with complete understanding of the symbolic statement my decision signified. I go to church (admittedly not as regularly as I should), I pray, but most importantly, I believe. I believe I've been forgiven my sins and that Christ died for me. I believe in John 3:16 with my whole heart.

What I don't believe in is allowing religion to overwhelm our government. There was a reason our forefathers believed in a "seperation of church and state". They were religious men and yet they realized a need to keep the two seperate. Too bad their descendents seem intent on doing away with the seperation. Religion is infiltrating our government. Need proof? Well, here's the latest evidence I can provide:

FDA and Jesus

This frightens me more than I care to admit. From what I've been able to gather, this man isn't a renowned scientist. His credentials seem to be in question when compared to the recommendations given by the previous members of the FDA. What he does have, and what seems to make him Bush's preference, is his religious zeal.

I'm sorry but this man's approach to women and religion terrifies me. PMS is a medical phenomena. Contraception should not be based on your marital status. Can you imagine the rise in teen pregnancies? Heck, for that matter, how many women are married before the age of 25 these days? They may not be married but they're certainly old enough to engage in consentual sexual relationships if they so desire. The advancements in technology and medicine should not be shelved because of the religious zeal of a few.

Mind you, I have no evidence that should this man be appointed to Chair the FDA he would put us back 50 years or more. I have no crystal ball and I can't claim any precognitive abiliities. Yet, I trust my instincts and they're screaming "No! No! No!".

November 15, 2004

It's Official - Deer Hunting Season Is Here

Well, Opening Day has arrived with frigid temperatures, overcast skies, and a horde of insane hunters marching into the woods in the pre-dawn hours. I say they're insane because who in their right mind would willingly get up in wee hours of the morning just so they could go sit motionless in the woods until fate brings a nice buck or doe into sight? I'd much rather be in bed sleeping, all warm and snug in my jammies, thank you.

However, I wasn't quite so lucky today with it being a Monday. I couldn't sleep in but at least I didn't have to face the prospect of freezing my toes--or any other valuable body parts--off. I went from a warm house to a warm car and while my office isn't exactly sweltering, I do have a space heater to combat the chill emenating from the windows behind me.

So, in honor of my hubby and all the insane hunters like him I thought I'd share the lyrics of my favorite deer camp song. It's called the "Second Week of Deer Camp" and it's by Da Yoopers.


ITS THE SECOND WEEK OF DEER CAMP
I GOT A SWOLLEN HEAD
I'M LYING WITH THE DUST BALLS
UNDERNEATH MY BED

AN ICY BREEZE IS BLOWING IN
THROUGH THE TONGUE AND GROOVE
MY PANTS ARE FROZEN TO THE FLOOR
AND I'M TOO SICK TO MOVE

I DIDN'T DRINK TOO MANY
ONLY THIRTY CANS OF BEER
IT MUST HAVE BEEN THAT LAST SHOT
THAT PUT ME UNDER HERE

CHORUS:
IT'S THE SECOND WEEK OF DEER CAMP
AND ALL THE GUYS ARE HERE
WE DRINK PLAY CARDS AND SHOOT THE BULL
BUT NEVER SHOOT NO DEER
THE ONLY TIME WE LEAVE THE CAMP
IS WHEN WE GO FOR BEER
THE SECOND WEEK OF DEER CAMP
IS THE GREATEST TIME OF YEAR

I REMEMBER PLAYING POKER
THAT WEASEL MUSTA WON
HE'S WEARING MY NEW SWAMPERS
AND SLEEPING WITH MY GUN

HE'S SNORING LIKE A CHAIN SAW
THE CAMP SMELLS LIKE A DUMP
SOMEONE'S DIRTY UNDERWEAR
IS HANGING ON THE PUMP

MUKKU’S IN THE WOOD BOX
EENER’S PASSED OUT ON THE STOVE
HIS FLANNEL SHIRT IS SMOKING
I WONDER IF HE KNOWS

CHORUS

VITO’S CRAWLING THROUGH THE DOOR
I THINK HE GOT FROSTBITE
HE PASSED OUT IN THE OUTHOUSE
AND HE'S BEEN THERE SINCE LAST NIGHT

THEN GOOFUS STUMBLES THROUGH THE DOOR
HE SAYS HE GOT A BUCK
HE WAS COMING FROM THE WAYSIDE
AND HE KILLED IT WITH HIS TRUCK

THEN MUUSTI CRACKS A BEER AND SAYS
ITS TIME TO CELEBRATE
GOOFUS GOT THE FIRST BUCK
SINCE 1968

CHORUS

November 10, 2004

I don't want to go to bed!

Just finished my exam. Took nearly an hour and a half. I think I did pretty well on it.

Work was hell today. First day of early registration usually is, though, so I've gotten pretty good at muddling my way through to quitting time. Tomorrrow should be better.

The kids were good tonight. My first grader had some trouble reading to me tonight--we were working on the family group -EST (nest, pest, zest, rest, etc). He just couldn't get it most of the time. We'll keep practicing until he does.

Good news, though, from Day Care. They're willing to have him do his Reading Recovery homework there! That will save me probably 30-40 minutes a night. He's still going to read to me (I want to make sure he's progressing and the only way to know is to listen to him read) but it'll be just one book a night instead of the two to three we've been doing. Of course, we'll still have to spend time on his spelling words and speech activities.

Goodness, it's late. I need to get to bed. Morning will be here before I know it and I'll be cursing the alarm clock with the utmost sincerity in the dark hours of dawn. Ick.

November 8, 2004

Finally!

Hey, check it out Blogger's going to let me post! Too bad I don't have the time right now.

November 2, 2004

Another Late Night

I knew I wanted to type tonight--50K is not magically going to appear overnight. Yet, I had hoped to be in bed by 10:00. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened.

When I dropped off the fundraiser pizza kits at my dad's, I ended up talking for nearly two hours. I got upset at one point but maybe I overreacted. Work, the stress of driving down to North Carolina over the weekend and rushing back in time for Halloween, and dealing with highly emotional people in both instances has frazzled my nerves.

I wish I could pour my heart out about work. But I can't. Who knows who could run across this little blog and use it to totally ruin my life? Suffice it to say there's some nasty shit about to hit the fan. (They can't fire me for cursing on my blog, can they? No. Freedom of speech. Whew.)

I also wish I could pour my heart out about my family. But, once again, I can't. It wouldn't ruin my life but it might unintentionally hurt someone. I know what it's like to feel betrayed by someone you thought you could trust and posting about the current trials and tribulations of those I love would certainly be a betrayal. So, I'm keeping mostly quiet on that front, too.

What's that leave? Oh, yes! The Presidential Election. I just heard Kerry got California, which pushed his numbers closer to Bush's. Good news!

Yes, I want Kerry to win. And, yes, I voted.

November 1, 2004

A Nice Change of Pace

It was nice working on a different story tonight. I've been so immersed in ED for so long that this change of pace is very welcome. I might not be writing at my best ability but I'm writing!

Let's hope this little hiatus from ED will help rekindle the flame. You know, "Distance does the heart good" and all that.



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