Thursday, August 31, 2006

Off Work Tomorrow!


1st, let me say, Kim Shable, do not let Ernesto stop you!! This is a big fat pile of nothing that has been exaggerated (and you lived here, so you know they ALWAYS do). This morning at 6 am, as it drizzled, WWAY news channel 3 had a reporter standing on the beach in a raincoat saying, "Well, Jim, it's raining significantly harder than it was a few minutes ago." Yeah, that's because it wasn't raining at all a few minutes ago. Yes, it is raining right now, as I'm sure it will continue to do until tomorrow, but seriously, we've had worse flash floods this summer.

2nd, I hope all this does not enrage Ernesto and cause him to be my first real hurricane. Ernesto, listen up. You are big and bad. I am not messing with you.

3rd, let me say that for the first time EVER! I am out of work tomorrow for weather related causes. We accidentally sheduled 2 more school days than we needed this year, so my boss said to just take it and forget about it. I am so excited! Yet slightly worried about being trapped in Lula's incase the above message did not appease Ernesto.

Does anyone know a song about Ernesto? Cause I want to sing one. Maybe I can just substitute Ernesto for Fernando.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy First Day of School

Tra-la-la, it's the first day of school. Or, I should say, the first day of school is over. Hence, the singing. Nothing is ever as bad as the first day back...the chaos, the parents milling around, the inability of anyone under the age of 7 to sit in his or her seat, the bathroom emergencies, the tears, the vomit...we had it all today. But it is over and tomorrow begins the real school year.

Saw Barry Corbin again today but refrained from embarrassing myself. Soon, I feel like, we'll be hanging out.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Geeky Boy Radio Stations

So has anyone else noticed that new radio station called "Will"? I think it's 98.7. The premise is that it's run by this guy named Will who has a million CDs and doesn't care about formatting--i.e. there's music from all decades, all kinds.

This would be ok, but the whole station in actuality seems like a study in mediocrity. It's not quite any kind of radio station and the things they play always seem like 2nd rate songs that you're not trying to hear every day. They'd be good every once in a while. Like GNI's 80's weekend--why must we hear the same 60 songs from the 80's! There were, in fact, other songs. And Will plays those other songs...except for that's all he plays.

Anyway, while we were away in Raleigh, we heard 98.7 there. It's called "Simon." I'm not sure what Simon's excuse for being is, like maybe he's an old man with a hoarding problem who has too many cds or something, but basically it was the same. This made me wonder--is this, like, sweeping the nation? Does every city now have a radio station with no djs and no formatting and a fake posterboy with an emo name?

Is Quentin out there? or Spencer? Nigel?

Hey, right now my counter is at 2222. And it's friday. :)

Quit yo...etc

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Good Lord, This Rain

Will it never end? I'm happy not to have to water the miles of garden I decided to plant in the spring when it was bearable out, but still.

In happy news for today, I HAVE A JACUZZI! Yes, it's true. I am now so spoiled by technology that it is a wonder I even have to feed myself.
On Sunday, when we returned from GSO, it was a humid jungle inside the house. Wha-huh? We said. How can this be, as Thomas keeps the house sub-zero no matter the weather outside. My sister was taking care of the dogs (Thank you!) so we thought maybe she had turned the AC off to conserve. But no, it was just not working.

We called the landlord, who offered various solutions by phone. Did you turn it off and on again? yes. Did you check the fuse box? yes, but it is full of pre-war inexplicable fuses. But they seem ok. None are brown or melted. Is it frozen over? no. Finally he came out. We checked all those things again. Status: the same. My landlord somehow managed to get an AC guy to the house at 9 on Sunday night, because he is a genius in all things. The AC guy found a hidden fuse box under the house that none of us, including the landlord, knew was there. The breaker marked AC was thrown.

Hey, he said. There are two more thrown. One for the kitchen and one marked "Jacuzzi." We threw them all back. Suddenly, I have AC, outlets in the kitchen and a working Jacuzzi tub. Yeeee haw. I took a bath in it yesterday and it was delish.

In further good news, school was very good today. I am happy to say that the school has hired a second elementary school teacher and we seem to be getting along well and they painted my room this year in lovely yellows and blues. It felt great to get home at 3:30 today.

Quit yo jibba jabba!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Defining Moments

So this weekend, Thomas and I went home to Greensboro. Since 1995, from the first hour that I set foot on the Guilford College campus, I've considered Greensboro my home. I was the first person I knew to begin to refer to her dorm as home; my calendars showing breaks showed entries like, "home to MD" and then, "home to NC". I've always considered myself not a transplant to North Carolina, but someone who was just born in the wrong place. I am North Carolinian. But more than that, I've always thought of myself as a native of Greensboro.

When I first moved to Wilmington, I was so crushingly homesick that I didn't think I'd make it a year. I seriously considered dropping out of school to return home; in fact, the only reason I ever made it here in the first place was that UNCG didn't take me. Everything that seemed to make me who I considered myself to be was there, as well as everyone I loved. It didn't help that my marriage was falling apart and that our best and happiest times were there. My desire to return was metaphorical as well as literal. I remember my first husband asking me angrily one night why I insisted on treating Greensboro like Xanadu. But to me, Greensboro was Xanadu. I felt very much in control of my world there. I couldn't drive yet, but I could walk to the grocery store, school, a movie theater, my favorite bar. I worked and lived among like-minded, liberal Quakers. I belonged.

Going home this weekend, I was finally forced to admit that I am more at home in Wilmington than I ever was in Greensboro. Partly that's because I can drive now and so have a kind of interior map of Wilmington that I never had of Greensboro. But partly it's being older; that more of the choices I've made here have made an ultimate difference to my life; that my job and my friends and my husband are here; that Wilmington is smaller and more manageable than the insane sprawl of Greensboro; and that, although I refused to see it for the longest time, this really is a beautiful town.

I felt sad driving out of Greensboro yesterday. I thought, that might be the last time I ever go home.

But, I did eat in the best restaurant in the whole world. REARN THAI! Thomas and I have been known to drive 150 miles out of our way to eat in this restaurant. It's nothing fancy, just a hole in the wall Thai restaurant with the best damn Thai food ever. So much better than our fancy "gourmet" Indochine or Rim Wang--this is real stuff, made by real Thai people, meant to be eaten, day in day out, not just for special occasions when you've saved up enough damn money. When I was in school, for 3.75 at lunch you got a drink, a spring roll and an entree. So, naturally, I ate there almost every day.

It's one of the few things I can always find my way to in Greensboro, even if I don't know the names of the stupid roads. Seeing this sign, I was so excited. But then we pulled up and saw this:

I seriously thought I would perish. Rearn Thai, closed? It was bad enough when I found out that my favorite GSO bar, Dolley's, had closed. But not Rearn. It couldn't be. But then I read the sign more closely. It advised me to turn around. And I saw this:

Rearn! In a nice new home! It was very exciting. I actually left a love note to Rearn on the back of our check, stating that this would always be my favorite restaurant, no matter where I lived and Congratulations on the beautiful new building, etc. Thomas might have been a little embarrassed of me, but I was happy. I made him swear that no matter where I am when I am dying, I want Rearn Thai food flown in. We ordered 2 appetizers and 3 entrees and I nearly died of happiness, though I did eat rice which is shameful and wrong.

Rearn is one of the four things in the world that I would happily advertise for. The others are Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, The Swiffer Vaccuum and my vet, Brad Kerr.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about things like this: who I would be publicly associated with. It's tied in to my thinking about myspace, about making lists of things that we think define us in some way, about our use of those names of books, bands, people, and products that we represent ourselves with. One of the things I'm interested in is how quickly people who know us could figure out who was meant by a list. For instance, most people list The Beatles on their myspace page. How many words do I have to add before you know unequivocally that it's me we're talking about?

The Beatles
Stephen King

I mean, these are very popular things, but I think we think of ourselves as unique combinations of them.

Twin Peaks
80's music
Sue Miller

Oh, P.S., while I'm thinking about it, I saw the coolest thing in Jane Magazine (you can add Jane to my list above) about a website that is selling buttons, not with band names, but with author names!! You could bust out your old jean jacket and cover it with Donna Tartt and Michael Chabon buttons. I'm googling for the website right now but not finding anything. I'll have to go back and look in the magazine.

edited to say: Found it! it's

Anyway. My list would have to include Rearn Thai, Donna Tartt, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Platform flip flops, the word "whatev", dogs of all sorts, etc.

Thomas and I were thinking about phrases that are particular to some people, like my "whatev" and his "are you kidding me?" We have this Mr. T keychain with 6 of his famous phrases:

including: "I pity the Fool" (of course) and "Quit yo jibber jabba!" which is my particular favorite. We imagined making these for our friends and recording their most quintessential phrases.

Mine would have to be:
Crap in a bowl!
How exciting!
Fucksie Ducksie.
Whhhaaaatttttt? (This should be very high pitched and drawn out).
and Dude.

Sorry for the insane length of this post. It's been a while.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dead Raccoon Road

So here's something you should know about me: I didn't learn to drive until I was 23. I got my license at 19 but never actually drove a car until I was 21 and not with any kind of regularity until I was 23. I don't think I took another human being in my car until I was 24. Driving has always been an issue for me.

When most people are 15, their parents begin to take them out in the family car to learn to drive. Nothing fancy, just some back roads, some parking lots, what have you. That way when the child is 15 and a half and enters drivers ed, he or she knows which one is the gas and which one is the break, and some rudimentary steering techniques, so as not to endanger the instructors or anyone else outside the immediate family. My parents did not do this. The first time I sat in the driver's seat of a car was with a scary old italian man with hairy knuckles who had never encountered a 15 year old who had no idea how to drive. Needless to say, it did not go well and I did not attempt Drivers Ed again until I was 19 and prepared to actually get a license.

My parents attribute my unwillingness to drive as a direct result of having learned to drive the riding lawn mower at an early age. I grew up on almost two acres of flat, grass covered land that had to be mowed frequently, and so my dad taught me to ride the lawnmower, probably when I was 11 or 12. I would get that lawnmower going in 5th gear and ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. Except that several times, even with the absolute visibility, I hit a tree or the fence. Hard. And they are probably right. It did scare me a bit to think that I could do that in a car. Trees don't sue. At least, not yet.

But all this not driving affected my sense of direction and caused me to never have any idea how to get anywhere. I don't even know the real names of roads. I think of them as that one by Ruby Tuesday or, in a famous incident: Dead Raccoon Road. In Greensboro, where I went to school, there was a road that is much like our New Center Drive, not in that it is clogged with huge discount stores, but that it connected College and Market, also the two main roads of Greensboro. Or at least I think that's true. But anyway, one night I saw a man by the side of the road, cradling a raccoon in his arms and giving it what totally looked like CPR. Subsequently, I have no recollection of what the actual name of this road is, which makes it difficult when we go home to visit.

As we are doing this weekend. Dead Raccoon Road, here I come.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


well, I quit the job today. I feel all weird and shaky and nervous inside, like you do when you know you're about to be caught doing something bad. I think part of the weirdness is that I'm having trouble getting in touch with my school, which is making me worried that I've been fired in absentia and am now jobless. Will try to just be ok and enjoy the weekend and my whopping two days off this summer.

There is a pain in my right eye, but I'm hoping that's just stress. Have broken the news of my quitting to my dad and received obligatory lecture about health insurance, but all in all, I think it went better than I expected. I just hope he's still proud of me.

I want to be funny and write funny things. I know I had a whole list saved up from when I was blog-less, but now of course I can't think of anything. I'm tired of whining on my blog. When does life get easier? Does anyone know?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Home at Last/Technical Difficulties

Oh, how I missed the blog. I kept feeling really afraid that Pen would move me into the "People Who Should Blog More" catagory.

But, happily, for myriad reasons, I'm coming home to roost. I've decided to go back to teaching. I know, I know. In a month, I'll remember how incredibly stupid that is. But right now I am just so damn unhappy. (Daisy--how are you? We forgot to check in). And I've decided that if I'm going to spend more time at work than I do at home with Thomas and the dogs, it sure as hell better be something I like doing. So I'll be returning home again daily at 3, which sounds incredible. And the plan (though I've never been so good at sticking to them) is to pursue potential ministerial interests in that extra time.

Meanwhile, I am overjoyed at 1. having my blog's password again. 2. Having DSL. 3. Being able to receive phonecalls while online. 4. Knowing I've only got 3 days left in that hellhole. 5. Knowing who is on the phone before I answer it, thereby deflecting any "why on earth are you quitting?" phone calls.

The other night, Thomas and I were watching TV and flipping through our 3 channels (it will be at least 3 more years before I can be talked into cable or a cell phone) when we noticed that FOX had frozen in the midst of an Altel commercial. We sat there and watched frozen FOX for 17 minutes, debating how long this had been going on and placing bets on how long it would continue. Somehow, we had more fun watching this error than watching actual TV. I called my mom and made her turn on FOX to see if it was a local or national problem, but, just like smoking a cigarette while waiting for your food to come, it immediately caused the TV to unfreeze.

Oh! in further exciting TV news, I saw Barry Corbin at Charley Brownz tonight. I know he's there, like, every night, but before I didn't know who he was. This year I inhaled the first three seasons of Northern Exposure, so I was excited about it and I was really hoping to see him again. Unfortunatly, I walked into the bar and loudly said to Thomas, "Where's Maurice?!" Thomas pointed out that he was um, right there. I can only hope he thought I said, "Where's the beef!?"

Damn Lack of Pictures

Hey all. Does anyone have any idea why my new DSL doesn't allow me to see pictures on this here lovely internet? Pen suggested my firewall being too was already on medium so I set it to low. Google suggested that I change my encoding for internet explorer...did that....still nothing. I can't live without my pictures!!

In other technology news, I finally got caller ID. This is a service I think is totally frivolous and I would never voluntarily sign up for it, but it was part of my "bundle" from BellSouth that helped me achieve cheap DSL, so what can you do. I happened to have a phone with a Caller ID display on it, so I plugged it. Let me just tell you how much I LOVE caller ID. It makes me feel very spoiled and well taken care of to have something so unnecessary. I want to thank the phone and pet it and give it a treat.

That's all for this moment.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm back!!

in short:

storm blew out modem
decided to get DSL
have been internet-less for days. subsequently freaking out.
back online. DSL totally mysterious. Why can I not see any pictures???
will blog about many stored up things as soon as I figure out this madness.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Games People Play

Last night, my friend Bernie came over for dinner and we all got talking about strange games we played as kids and their rules. This occurred because someone farted. I will not say who, but I will say that it wasn't me, because I'm still the kind of girl who goes to the bathroom to fart like a civilized person.

Anyway, Thomas was telling us that when he was a kid, they all played this game called doorknob. When someone farted, if you yelled "doorknob!" you got to beat the shit out of the farter until they reached a doorknob and touched it. Thomas said that many people began forecasting their farts by drifting toward doorknobs in mid conversation. You could also yell "Safety!" before someone yelled "Doorknob!" if you were the farter to escape a beating, however, I supposed that in doing so, you'd be announcing to the general public that it was you who farted, and not, as is commonly believed, that he who smelt it, delt it.

Bernie and I agreed that this seemed like a Southport game and never made it as far as DC (where I grew up) or Texas (Bernie).

We discussed "Jinx," as Bernie felt that if you were jinxed you had to be silent or buy someone a coke, as was shown on The Office. In our version of jinx, if two people said the same thing at the same time and one yelled "jinx!" the other could not speak until someone said his or her name. You could also yell "Personal Jinx!" and in that case only the jinxer could free you by saying your name.

In further discussion, we debated on whether you had to kiss (me) or punch (Thomas and Bernie) someone when calling a one-headlight "padiddle." We also found discrepancy over whether you had to lift your feet, touch the ceiling of the car and make a wish when: a. going over railroad tracks or b. going through a yellow light.

Can anyone vouch for these games or rules?