Home > Archive: September, 2010

Archive for September, 2010

Bibliophille's Sadness (Lover of books)

September 30th, 2010 at 01:48 am

So this evening I went to my storage unit with my stepdad to see how bad the damage was. The good news is that it wasn't as bad as I was imagining it could possibly be. The bad news is that there was damage, and I lost some dear treasures.

The biggest dollar value item that had to be discarded was my futon mattress. The least dollar value was a bunch of empty flat boxes. One box contained kitchen things wrapped up in sheets. The sheets will need to be washed, as well as the kitchen dishes, but it is fine.

One box that was on the floor contained four photo albums. Three of the four were fine - one I will need to transfer the photos into a new album. Everything else in the box was ok.

Then we get to the heartsick part.

One box was full of yearbooks from first grade through college. Many of them have a good number of signatures and messages. At least three of my elementary ones were a total loss, and most of the others may or may not be savable. I also had three scrapbooks - one of all my students I taught; one of my college years; and one of my senior year of high-school. Those *may* be savable, although transferred to a new album.

Then ... oh my heart breaks. Three boxes packed full of books. Frown All the books that were on the bottom layer ... discarded. Most of the books on the second layer -- discarded. The books on the top layers, some were iffy, but most were okay.

I took pictures before we took everything to the dumpster (except for the yearbooks/scrapbooks).

As far as how this happened? We're not really sure. There is a crack in the foundation which looks like it goes along the general arc of the water line. But that could have already been there, and we just don't remember it.

The Storage place was very nice. They were willing to let me move my things into a new clean unit, but when I saw that the damage was less than I first thought, I decided not to do that.

Moral of today's story -- don't store anything you don't want damaged on the floor of a storage unit!

Eating My Words -- No Worries! The Flooding Didn't Touch Me!

September 28th, 2010 at 03:09 am

A few weeks ago we were having major rainstorms, and even a few tornadoes touched down. The rain was a pain to drive in, but otherwise didn't bother me too much. I felt bad for the people in Lewisville near the river who were flooded, but wasn't worried about that where I am.

So ... this afternoon Korean boy didn't have any homework, and we couldn't find his English teacher to get his list of vocab words to start on. I left early. I've decided to get back into strength training, so I needed my dumbbells from my storage unit. The last time I was inside it was maybe in May??

I opened it up, and the first thing I saw was that the floor was a mess. It looked like puppy turds and dead grasshoppers (and probably other bugs as well.) My dad and stepdad both think the puppy turds are mud. Hope so - would hate to find an animal inside my unit big enough to .... you get the point.

Next thing I noticed was that some of the empty flattened boxes which were upright, showed wet stains about half-way up. It also smelled kind of funky.

The only conclusion I can reach is that the units got flooded at some point. This had to have happened several weeks ago. Until this week, we've had HOT humid weather. Nobody called me. When my credit card was about to expire, they made sure to call me. When they noticed the lock was on wrong, they were able to call me. But to call me and let me know "Hey, the units flooded, you might want to check your stuff." They couldn't manage to do that! You know, at a time where school hadn't really gotten underway, and I'd have time to dig through everything.


I'm going to call and see if I can talk to management tomorrow to find out what happened. Then Wednesday night after I'm done tutoring, stepdad is going to go with me to see just how bad it is.

The really sickening part is that most of the boxes on the floor had books in them. Frown Boxes of dishes and kitchen stuff can easily be cleaned up. Wet books that have sat for several weeks ...

Short Entry -- Oops. Not so short. :)

September 26th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

This past week has been crazy busy. I put in a total of 12 extra hours tutoring one of my mom's students. Today I worked with her again for 3 hours. I also had my permanent crown on Tuesday. The kicker was this one huge assignment for one class that was giving me nightmares. It was due Friday, but by some miracle, the professor granted us two extra days!

I am SO tired right now. Not sleeping well at all. Had a few charley horses in early morning hours, which I hadn't had for a long time. Nearly fell going down the stairs *twice* this week. Last night Buddy slept in his ex pen instead of my bed - was hoping I'd sleep better. Didn't work very well.

Oh, last week I met with Korean boy and girl's academic dean regarding my concerns about their ability to do the English classwork. This Tuesday we have another meeting where the teacher will be included. Apparently she'd been told "No Modifications." Both Korean students are majorly stressed out - the girl is a senior and really worried about what's going to happen when she applies for colleges with an F in English. For me to really be able to help her, I'd need 4 or 5 more hours a week at least to help her read and understand the material. Ugh!

I read this fantastic book for one of my classes - I have to write a journal quality review of it. Once its graded, I'll post it on my website and link to it. It's a great book for boys in third or fourth grade.

Speaking of books ... I joined a while back. Recently I signed up for a bunch of different "First Reads" contests. I won a free book! Big Grin It's a dog story. Big Grin I can hardly wait for it to arrive.

Next weekend we are having a special potluck for the Primary students and their families (as well as a few special guests). I'm planning on making Danish Aebleskeber's, and the others are bringing more to fill the edges. Our class is moving into a new room next week as well. This actually is a good thing, because it is not a shared room. This means I'll be able to leave most of my materials there each week, and put up a few posters, etc. I'm planning on putting together a birthday poster, and probably a memory verse poster, and figuring out a way to display the kids sticker cards (cards they earn points on for attendance, etc.)

We watched a predictable, yet cute movie last night - "When In Rome." I wouldn't pay to see it, but if you have a chance to see it for free (on tv, via netflix, etc) I'd go for it.

Speaking of movies. Has anyone seen "Ramona and Beezus"? It's still at the dollar theater, and I was thinking that maybe I'd try to see it if I get a chance. Will probably wait till Netflix has it though, with my school and tutoring schedule.

What a week!

September 17th, 2010 at 04:11 am

As I've mentioned before, Buddy got some matts pretty soon after his first grooming appointment. I tried a number of tricks to get them out, but they were just getting worse instead of better. So Tuesday we got him shaved. What a difference fluffy hair makes! Without it, he looks so fragile and so much tinier.

Yesterday my mom went to the doctor for a follow up visit on her surgery. She got a good grade, but was told that she would need to take longer for full recovery. In other words, she shouldn't start back with her tutoring yet. So, one of her students has gotten really behind without her there to help her. I was asked if I'd be willing to work with her until Mom is able to again.

So today (Thursday) I worked with Korean Girl and Korean Boy from 2:30 - 5, then drove over to Mom's student and worked with her from 6 - 9. Before working with all of them, I was working on a big paper for one of my classes which I spent several hours floundering on, trying to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do! Long day.

Oh .. Korean boy dropped one on me today. He tells me "I have book journal due Tuesday and book proposal." I emailed his teacher and found out the book journal was actually due on the 14th! but she's giving him until the 22nd. If this was all he had to do, it would be bad enough. But he has an essay due on
Tuesday which is worth 50% of his first test grade. We have Friday and Monday to do all of this. (3 hrs)
Oh .. he hasn't read the book yet for the journal -- though maybe he'll have started it tonight if he can find it online. I would ordinarily say "let's work on Sunday afternoon" but I've already said I'd work with Mom's student on Sunday for a few hours - and I need to leave some of that time for my own school work!

Oh .. mom's student will be at least 6 hours, possibly up to 15 hours before all is said and done. At $25/hr. I don't tend to do much school work in the evenings, so for a week or two, this should work ok -- and give me a good boost of income!

The Long Day could have had a horrific ending. As I was driving home I got to this one spot where it is essentially a blind spot. Right before the road becomes divided with a median. I ended up on the wrong side. Only by the grace of God, and drivers who were paying attention, did I make it to a place where I could get back in the lane going the correct way.

Took about 5 years off my life.

Also made me decide to never take that way home again in the dark. My stepdad told me he's had that happen to him at that same spot - where cars all of a sudden are going the wrong way (with him the correct way).

Tomorrow Buddy goes in for his snip snip. We're hoping it'll help with his barking. Tonight a friend of my stepdad's was visiting. He has a beard (not sure if that was the problem), but Buddy just plain *did not* like this guy. He wouldn't stop barking or settle down till mom took him in the bedroom and closed the door. He'll do that with us sometimes too -- just start barking his head off. Sometimes if he hears me/sees me coming down the stairs and he's on moms bed, he'll start in. Other times if I have him at the table with me while I'm eating, and stepdad comes down the stairs, he starts barking. And on and on.

This coming Tuesday I'll be getting my permanent crown. I was just thinking about calling the dentist to find out what was going on with it, when they called me. Smile Good timing.

What Should I do? Moral/Financial ?

September 12th, 2010 at 08:41 pm

Well, I'm back from delivering/picking up items from mom's "friend". Of course he couldn't leave it at just a simple pickup/delivery.

Mom's birthday is this coming Saturday. Her "friend" handed me an envelope with a ten dollar bill and specifications on a white rose/baby's breath that he wanted me to purchase and give to her for her birthday -- without attaching his name to it. I didn't know what to say, so I took it.

I asked my brother what he thought I should do. He added some expletives, but basically told me he didn't think that I should make the purchase.

I am thinking that maybe I could use it to purchase the perfume which she actually asked for, and never mention where part of the money came from. I don't think it would do her *any* good at all to know. Purchasing the flower without giving "friends" name would be a dead give away as to who it was from, because it wouldn't be something I normally would do.

After the late evening run to get her out of "friends" apartment a bit over a week ago, plus the two-hour round trip today to pick up items we'd missed the first time, I sincerely hope that she has no need to ever be in contact with him again.

So ... I guess this is my question. Should I purchase the flower like he asked? Should I use the money to purchase the perfume my mom wants? Should I mail the money back to him along with a note telling him I wasn't comfortable doing it? Something else?

I just SO hate being put in the middle like this!!!

Money Tree, etc

September 11th, 2010 at 02:39 am

This is a neat video of an experiment conducted in Chicago where 100 $1 bills were pinned to a tree with various messages on them:


We had some interesting weather here the first few days of the week. Wednesday afternoon as I was driving home from tutoring, I heard that tornado actually touched down in Dallas -- near the Lovefield airport. I haven't heard what damage estimates were for it yet, but there also was a good bit of flooding in various parts of the metroplex (Dallas, Fort Worth, plus numerous small cities).

My dad called me yesterday afternoon and told me that he and grandma were sitting in the living room watching CNN and it looked like all of us in DFW were being blown away or flooded out. Funny how the media over blows things.


Speaking of the media ... maybe I shouldn't say this, but, I really wish they would just not cover the so-called Pastor in Florida and all his lunacy. People like that come out of the woodwork for their 15 minutes of fame, because that's just what they get. Maybe if they didn't get it, they'd be less likely to do stupid *** stuff.

So ... anyway...

My mom came home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. She's still in bed recuperating and in some pain, but much prefers her bed to the hospital. Buddy absolutely *detests* spending any time at all away from her. I take him up to my room and he starts whining this really terrible pitiful whine. Then when he calms down, acts all depressed. I think a lot of his behavior is anxiety related.

Wednesday I started with my fourth and final tutoring student (at least for this semester). He's a good kid and I enjoyed working with him. I especially liked that his mom paid me for two weeks at the same time. Smile

Thursday after tutoring Korean boy, I stopped at a place called Pro Cuts and got four inches chopped off the length of my hair, and my bangs stair stepped (chin length, then down). After a $3 tip, it cost $18. I'm happy with it.

Sunday I'll be meeting mom's former "friend" to exchange items - mom had a few things of his, and there were a number of things she didn't get in our moving her out last Friday night. He wanted to eat lunch. Uh no. I politely told him that I'd only have time to drive there, get the stuff, and then get back home. Not particularly looking forward to a one-hour drive one-way, and right back again. But it's what one does for family. (Plus I'll be driving stepdads car, so no gas or miles on my car - makes it more appealing.)

Drama, Drama

September 5th, 2010 at 01:32 am

This has been an interesting past few days ... to say the least.

On Thursday I get a text from my brother asking me if I'd heard how mom was doing. I hadn't, so asked him what he meant. He told me he thought she'd gone into the hospital for an evaluation of her heart. I panicked because I knew she'd been having a lot of shoulder/neck/arm pain, and so thought maybe she'd had a heart attack. Called her and found out that she had been in the hospital for an MRI to find out what was going on with her neck/shoulder - nothing to do with her heart.

Results of MRI showed that she had three bulging discs which were on the verge of causing paralysis. More visits with doctors, etc., and she has a surgery scheduled for Tuesday morning to replace three discs with artificial ones.

Stepdad told me that if there was any way I could talk her into coming back here where we could care for her, to please do it. She'd told him she wasn't happy with her new "friend" but felt trapped. New friend lives on third floor of an apartment building, and with her neck/shoulder issues, she could not move out herself -- and he wasn't willing to help her move out.

Mom texts me on Friday and when I call her tells me that if stepdad is willing to not talk/ask about his and mom's relationship status for the next two-three weeks (so focus be totally on recovery) that she was ready to end the "friendship". I told her to name the time and he and I would be there to get her out.

Stepdad agreed to mom's conditions with no qualms. We got there a bit before 7 p.m. Mom texted me and told me that if stepdad came in, "friend" would call the police. So that meant that I got to carry everything out of the apartment, and then met stepdad on the second floor landing. I met my exercise quota for the day plus quite a bit. It took about 30 minutes of steady trips with oversized loads, but we got out of there with minimal drama.

Buddy is *estatic* to have mom back home. He follows her everywhere. Even though I've been the main one responsible for his care since he was brought home, he still somehow gets that she is his actual "owner".


I was thinking that tomorrow I'd go get a haircut since I have some cashflow again. The last time I got one was in early December. I need to check and see what places are around here. I'm hoping to get away with spending $20 or preferably less.