Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 13 of the liquid diet

OK, there are 187 million different types of drinks in this world, but once you take away the alcohol, caffeine and carbonation, I swear you are down to about 10. However, I am definitely getting a lot more vitamins than I was before.

Yesterday I was completely unable to write, so I grabbed my friend Kristen and off we went to check out so areas of Dallas that I've been writing about. We went to the Bishop's Art District (Jim Lake), Winnetka Heights (Stemmons) and Wynnewood (Angus Wynne).

Came back home and worked diligently, although I still don't have enough for Wynne. Gotta keep working on that. Of course I'm fighting a pretty strong HGTV addiction at the same time! sigh.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gotta make it

I'm sitting here working on the Angus Wynne copy going through my notes. There is a cartoon that his son described to me that seems very appropriate for me at the moment too.

I've been working on this book, it seems like forever, and I've pretty much been giving the end of the year as my deadline. I'm going past that, but I also know I have a little wiggle room as far as finishing the book, but getting it to press by the first of March.

Ok, so there's this rabbit running along as fast as he can with a fox right on his tail, teeth showing and tongue hanging out.

They pass a guy sitting on a fence, and he calls out to the rabbit--

"Hey, rabbit, you think you gonna make it?"

The rabbit calls back - "Make it? Man, I GOTTA make it!"

Think of me as the rabbit . . .

Friday, December 28, 2007

The liquid diet

Day 10. At first one might not think this is bad. There are lots of fun liquids out there. But alas, this is the no fun liquids diet. No caffeine - shoot me now, no soft drinks of any kind. No hot chocolate, yum. No alcohol sigh.

Actually, this week my liquids include soups that are brothy. Oh goody. I've added mushroom soup and cream of corn. Next week another layer of thickness, if you will. Yogurts, puddings etc. That is good.

All in all the specialized funky diet lasts for six weeks. . . Good news, it is impossible to not lose weight, bad news . . . well, I think you can figure it out.

An interesting note is that I am drinking all of these protein drinks and shakes. I'm almost positive that I am getting more protein now than I usually do.

Although many consider Christmas to be a bad time to start such a diet, I have to tell you that it is working out very well. I'm trapping myself at home anyway to work on the book, so my only distractors are food commercials on TV and I just flip the channel on those!

Back to work . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bad dog, and I don't mean mine

First, Dave and Darlene have been out of town. that has been lovely. I realized at one point that their being out of town meant that I could let Sabrina and Buddy run amok. At any rate, I heard the barker dogs at about 10pm the other night . . . hmm I thought in my sleep odd. Sabrina gets up at about midnight and goes outside. I hear her bark. Rotten dog I think, good thing D & D aren't home. Got up in the morning and realized, oops, I think they got home last night. (okay, so this story is my dog bad dog, but their dogs barked at ten and woke me, so I owed them one.

However, for the last two nights I have heard a dog barking incessently barking during the night. Made me think of Mom and Dad with their tale of woe regarding the neighbor dog. Well, last night it woke me at about 3. By 4 I was losing my ever loving mind. So, I got up and headed out the door determined to at least know who the culprit was. Turns out it is a big furry dog that lives behind Emily. I went down the alley, and he was squeezed between the fence and a storage shed. Poor thing. But if he barks again tonight, he's getting a doggie treat with benadryl!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Alone, alone, alone

I am supposed to be alone because I need to be totally focused on writing. But the problem with being alone for too long is that one gets a bit edgy. I be writing, but not as much as I should be. I have a pinch in my shoulder, (I think from yesterday's fall) and I'm losing my focus. Auugghhhhh.

MaryBeth is coming to visit tomorrow. My goal is to have another bio written before she gets here.

Alright enough procrastinating with the blog. Back to work.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Today's adventures

Well, I realized I still had a couple of gifts to get, so I decided to go out into the madness. I tripped over a curb and flew about four feet. Scraped up my knee and my hand : (

Then I was driving along Swiss on my way home when I saw Emily. I waved, drove my car over a curb and then proceeded on. I should not be allowed to drive.

Emily and I tried to go to church at the 5:00 service, but it turns out that all of the Chreasters (you know, the Christmas and Easter attendees) had beaten us there. There were no seats whatsoever. So, we headed home to celebrate in front of the TV.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wow! Two weeks since my last post

Good heavens. Well, yearbook wise, we've had some ups and downs. We were supposed to get 120 pages of proofs by December 10th so that we could get them fixed and returned. As it turns out, they arrived and there were font defaults on EVERY page. aauugghh. So, we tried to send a disk of the fonts. Nope, corrupt. Tried to email it. Nope corrupt. In the meantime, Topeka, Kansas (where the plant is) was having ice storms. By the time we got the proofs, Friday . . . there was no way we were going to get them out, so they are actually waiting for our return from break.

In the meantime, we did get all of our people pages out, so that is good. Shawn, the bain of my existence may he rot in hell, did send the disk of photos to the plant. I am waiting for the final approval from the plant, then I'll send a letter to all of the senior parents.

Back at the ranch, I have been working like the very devil on the real estate book. I'm making progress, so keep praying for me. Lots of stuff to do still, but every day I get closer.

My goal this week is to just keep working 'till it's done.

Saturday, December 8, 2007



Well, I don't want to be the only one to enjoy the fun of Sabrina and Buddy acting like mad fools. Aren't they precious? But trust me, they would never bark outside. Well, mostly never. ; )

Saturday in t he Hood

It was a heck of a day. I got up, dropped off some photos, picked up some photos, got a new battery for the phone, ran home and started working on the book. Kevin came over and we worked for about six hours on the book. He's going to come back tomorrow and help me out. Hoorah for Kevin.

I held the dogs off from walking for ages this afternoon, so by the time I was ready they were spastic. So I let them out the back door, and they yapped like idiots for a few minutes. As I am standing there waiting for them to calm down, I hear the door next door open and a voice hollar out, "Be quiet. You be quiet." Is he kidding? Seriously, what idiot thinks sticking his head out and yelling actually works? And if you know it doesn't work, then why stick your head out? Weirdo.

Tonight was Dr. Duke's Christmas party. It was my one and only social obligation of the season. It is always a good party. I got to see Dr. Katz who taught me a couple of classes when I was at UTD and Peggy a professor at quad C and I saw Erica a Spanish teacher at HP. Good times. Then back home to start laundry. (Always grounded in reality, that's me).

I love my new curtains by the way. I realize the tv room is a mess, but don't the curtains look fabulous? And the room really is warmer. Please note the lovely tv hanging on the wall. I don't know why the pictures place sideways some times, but also notice the adorable dog on the floor looking for love, and then eyeballing me through the front window. He is very funny. When I go out front, he sits and watches me quite carefully.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Crazy Mothers

So my kids are doing all of this blogging for their journal writing and story writing. We are in the short story unit. So, I make all of these journal questions to go with the short stories they are reading, The Cask of Amontillado, Lamb to the Slaughter, The Sniper and the like. Turns out our stories have a bit of a dark edge.

I know this because yesterday morning I get this diatribe from a crazy mother that she felt a need to copy the principal and the asst principal on. She explained why the journal questions were so horrible and she didnt' want her child responding to it etc. OK, no problem. When she responded to me and was all rosy and nice did she copy the principal and assistant? Noooooo

On the up side, I got a message from another mom within 24 hours saying how great I am and she appreciates what I'm doing etc.

7 days later . . .

I can tell you at this point I feel like I have been busier than hell all week. I'm not sure if I can keep everything in order.

Shawn Northcutt the photographer from hell: Well, after a bunch of back and forth, the boys told me to basically agree to pay shawn what he wanted, but to just get rid of him. Shawn sent a courier over to the high school with the disk of images. One of the guys wasn't included in the disk, so I told the courier I wasn't going to give him the invoice ok's by the boys yet. Shawn sent an email saying he was going to cancel his reimbursement check until it was resolved. What a putz. I sent a note back telling him to just send me another disk with the rest of the images. What a novel idea. He is supposed to have all of the senior images sent to the plant by tomorrow. Honestly, if the plant doesn't get them I am going postal on his butt.

New Photographers: Tread gave me the name of a guy, Mike, who has great photos on his web site, hooray, and then I got another name from Helen, the pr person for the district. So, I have two photographers.

Sunday I thought I had hired a scheduler. I didn't hear from him until Tuesday evening. Turns out his appendix ruptured Sunday. Some people will do anything to get out of work. Poor guy. At any rate, he is healing at home and I am trying to call people like a wild thing. I've actually made contact of some sort with everyone, and scheduled three appts.

I'm trying to reach all of these people and get photos or schedule appts. I'd like to add part of the problem is that my phone went dead today. On the phone too much. Grrrr.

The dogs are getting the short end of the stick at the moment. I keep getting home late, and they aren't getting quality time or walks.

The girls have been working madly on the yearbook. They are really on top of it. Our plan is to get proofs by this coming Monday, finish those and send out another 30 spreads or so before Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

There are times. . .

as I write into the abyss that I wonder why I do it. I do think it is a relief to write about the ridiculous stuff that happens to me, but there are times I'd really like to let loose and can't just in case this sucker gets found by just anybody. sigh.

I got a new laptop which I have to say is just in time. My current laptop has a button that has popped off, the I doesn't capitalize very well. In generally, it was time for a new one. Of course I need to be able to add a bunch of stuff to the new computer for it to be functional and I really need Chuck to come over and help me.

The Photographer Shawn disaster continues to grow. I'm not sure of what to say. I'm keeping the emails because they just seem to point to the insanity.

His latest email says and I quote,"Does hphs know that you left your workday repeatedly to work at another job? I don't have the luxury to defraud my employer to work for someone else on their dime. "

So, when I responded, "I'm sorry you feel it is appropriate to threaten me. I would expect if you had learned anything from working with me it is that I will not ever cower from the truth. "

To which he responded, " I have never threated anyone that I have ever worked with. Please quit misrepresenting me."

Now, did that sound like a threat to anyone else?

I believe he is referencing the times I have left at lunch, done an interview and gone back to school. Just to reassure any one who actually thinks there is any credence to what he said: 1. I think I work long enough hours and produce a good enough book, no one at HP feels defrauded. 2. Even if someone decided taking lunch to interview people was horrifying, then I would stand up and take my lumps. Like I'm going to let some putz threaten me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe

Well, first I want to say since sending the letter to D&D, it has been radio silence. I can't begin to describe how nice it is to not hear from them.

Shawn Northcutt . . . I don't even know what to say. His lack of response is shocking. He finally responded to an email Robert sent. He then sent a separate email to me that I forwarded to the committee. The email he sent to me was blah, blah, blah, it's not my fault, blah, blah, blah, it is really your fault, blah, blah blah, I am a victim, blah, blah, blah it's not my fault. I so desperately want to respond, but I keep reminding myself that none of it will do any good.

Robert responded to the email I forwarded. While I was meeting with the committee this afternoon, Shawn sent an email to Robert suggesting he no longer work on the Book. I could hear the hallelujah chorus playing in the background. Robert asked me to respond. I sat staring at the screen thinking of all the responses I wanted to make. Instead I just said, the committee appreciates and accepts your proposal. Please send a bill after all photos have been delivered.

I received a phone call today from one of the inductees. He said Shawn was supposed to be at his house at 10am to take his photo. At 11am they got a phone call saying he had a flat tire, was waiting for help and would be on his way. At 2pm when I got the call, Shawn had neither made contact again nor shown up. sigh.

Now, as far as the yearbook pictures go, I'm still waiting on those. He is supposed to be at the high school on Friday to shoot the last 30 kids or so that haven't been photographed. He is supposed to submit the disk of senior photos to the plant by Friday, December 7th. Shall we take wagers on whether or not that happens?

The meeting with the boys lasted about 3 hours. We got through a ton of stuff. My brain hurts right now, but all I can think is, Wow I may actually get this sucker done.

Today at school, I worked with the editors on the people pages. In ten years at HP I have gotten a call every year from the plant that some portion of the people pages are wrong. All those head shots and we have to have the right number of pages and boxes for all the little heads. Toooooo many numbers. Aaauuugggghhhhh

Did I mention that Sabrina and Buddy are now sleeping in kennels at night? They are really funny. I put Buddy in his, and then Sabrina tries to hide under the bed. So I turn the light out and act like I'm going to leave her under the bed. Within thirty seconds she comes hopping up on the bed, silly girl. Then she goes into her kennel.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Holiday

Of course it didn't start until 9pm tonight when I FINALLY left school, but at least it has started. I only had three editors working most of the afternoon, but I'm really proud of them work like the devil to get everything done. They got 64 spreads finished and mailed to the plant. The ads managers managed to get all of their spreads signed off and sent to the plant.

Sunday I got help from Emily and moved the wire dog cage into my bedroom. I bought a second one for Buddy and put it in the bedroom. The children have slept in their cages the last two nights. There is a little bit of whining, but they have actually done really well.

My plan is to walk the dogs in the morning and then work all day on the book. Thursday I'm going to work on English grading and do the family gig, then back to work on the book Friday.

This is the plan. We'll see how shredded it gets by life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You know it is going to be good . . .

when it requires a mid-day entry.

I got home last night to find a note under the mat. It wasn't a horrifying note, but it was a note none the less. I'll try to remember to scan and post the note tonight. At any rate, it was a note that pushed me over the edge. I didn't sleep well. I feel like I am living under a reign of terror. These people are harassing me, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Soooo, I'm whining away, when one of my students reminds me her dad is a lawyer. She calls him and tells him the scoop. He says that I can file a complaint with the City of Dallas. I should write them a letter telling them I will file a complaint if they harass me any more. I like that a lot. So, then I go to Officer Sherrill (We just got a police liaison in the building which has proved to be useful!)

Officer Sherrill tells me the same thing!! Happy happy, joy, joy. Below is the letter I have written. Feel free to comment as necessary.

November 13, 2007
Mr and Mrs Rosen,

It is unfortunate that the situation has come to this. You have made your desires clear and there is no need for any further communication between us on this issue.

The section of the City of Dallas ordinance regarding animal noise makes no reference to hour of the day.

Noise made by any animal is considered unreasonable if it continues for more than 15 minutes or exceeds the sound pressure level allowed in a residential district. A person who is disturbed by an animal who unreasonably barks, howls, crows, or makes other unreasonable noise may file a disturbance complaint with Dallas Animal Services, who will mail a notice to the owner.

This is also according to the letter that was sent to me by the City of Dallas in response to your complaint. The City of Dallas code enforcement representative informed me that you also received a copy of the letter and are therefore aware of the parameters to lodge a complaint. With that in mind, please do not communicate with me in any way regarding the dogs. If you wish to make a complaint, please do so to the City of Dallas at (214) 670-4439.

If you choose to communicate with me regarding the dogs, I will immediately contact the City of Dallas Police Department to file harassment charges.

Well, what do you think? To the point, polite, specific?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The hellion and her little friend


I would hate for too many days to go by without you knowing how freaking adorable my dogs are. Look how cute Sabrina is all smooshed in the chair. What a cutie pie. Sometimes she is the ultimate guard dog. She eyes the street traffic ready to leap on anyone who dares cross the path of the hellion. Although sometimes they make it quite difficult to get any work done at all. They don't mess around. When they want my attention they go to work and get it!!! Grrrr. Today Mom and I went to the Opera "MacBeth". It was good, but not one of my favorites. I most enjoy the operas that are a feast for the ears and the eyes. This one was very dark and the scenery was very boring.

I got home and tried to get some work done on the book, but my eyes are blurry and I have another headache. I need to take tomorrow off, but I don't see that happening.

Pam visits with Maria

My friend Pam, now living in Florida, has been in town for the last week at a workshop. She brought her baby Maria. Maria is 6 months old and the most adorable baby ever. Seriously, I had pangs. Look at that face. We got some lunch and then went back to the house. I had to take the picture of all of the crap that comes with the baby. A plethera of stuff.

Precious Babies


Aren't they cute? Madeline, Alexa and Megan - editors-in-chief extraordinaire. Megan has tonsilitis or something so one of my senior editors, Kendall is having to be acting editor-in-chief. At any rate, I am lucky to have such amazing editors because right now all I can think about is how much work it takes to get a yearbook out and how much work I still have to do to get The Book done. The next 8 weeks are going to be awfully hard.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tempus Fugi

Wow. Feels like it has been forever since I last blogged. I won't remember everything in order, but here are some highlights.

Today was TAKS benchmark Essay grading day. That means my friend, Pam, subbed for me as I went over to the admin building and graded essays with 6 other teachers. ug. what a drag. Ironically I had to leave the house at about 6:40 to get to school to get work done before going to admin. Damn dog aka Sabrina was barking when I left. . . no phone call from Dave. go figure. I didn't leave school until 7 or so, makes for a long day for me and the dogs.

I think I have a schedule for the next two months that will enable me to get some work done on the book. It is really hard to be creative at the end of the day. I have to start in the morning if you know what I mean. As Ann pointed out I'm going to have to hawk up a lung if I'm not careful.

The house was cleaned today. I do love Thursdays.

I went to bed at 7:30 Tuesday night I was soo tired.

Wednesday was the day of the dog and pony show at Armstrong Elementary with Ms. Gieson's fourth graders for the superintendent. I heard today that she was well pleased. That is good.

We have a football game tomorrow night. Last one, thank heavens. Tomorrow is also the last day of the six weeks.

My eyes are burning and I'm too tired to remember everything going on or to be funny, so I'm just going to crash.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I am so annoyed

Today was a hell of a day. I worked madly on my English I calendar most of the day. I rushed home 8th to feed the dogs and give them a quick hello. Rushed back to school. Mark came by to work with the girls. Linda came by to work with me on the flipchart for Wednesday. Chuck and Shelly worked on the projection computer so that when Linda and I do the virtual classroom that works. In the meantime the computers started to not save work because the server is full . . . so again the yearbook bought a 40,000 server that still isn't connected. I'm ready to kill someone.

Then rushed over to Cisco Grill to meet Fred and Jack (two other teachers) before we went to the UP Library for the book club. 6:30 heading to the library and I see Dave (next door neighbor from HELL) calling. I don't answer but call Emily and leave a message.

I listen to Dave's message which for the first time doesn't contain his usual over the top niceness and is a little snotty. "I don't know if you are home or not, but your dogs are barking and you really need to let them in."

Emily calls me back a view minutes later and tells me that she and Gene were out front yacking it up. She said that she thinks that they are the reason the dogs were barking and to not worry about it. Emily would have told me if they were being horrible.

I am sooooooo pissed. Thank heavens MaryBeth was home and able to talk to me off the cliff. I am already so stressed out and so freaking busy I don't have time for these nut jobs.

I need to remember that this is their deal not mine. The dogs aren't bad, the neighbors are crazy. This is their deal. I can't buy in to the insanity.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Homecoming Weekend

I got Emily to feed the dogs and trap them in the house Friday night, so I stayed at work until 7 when I walked over to the football field to work the game. I got home a little after 10:30. Got up Saturday morning and went to work until about 2pm. Got home, finally finished grading papers. I still have two college recs to write, but I got notes written out for Ann to sub for me Monday.

I walked the dogs yesterday afternoon and then got ready for the Homecoming Dance. Home at about midnight. Haven't gotten crap done today. I went to Target and got some groceries and some pants (wardrobe is thin on pants and it is getting a wee bit chilly for skirts).

I walked the dogs, and I've been doing laundry all day but that is about it. I really need to find my groove . . .

I also have had a headache off and on for the last three days. It's getting tiresome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The drugery continues

I laid down for a nap and slept for four hours. It slowed down my progress on the book, but I think I really needed that nap.

School was fine today. In photography, we had a guest speaker, Greg Watermann, who shoots lots of rock-n-roll stuff. That was fun.

I spoke with Robert, one of the book committee guys, and told him about the deal with Shawn. At least they know now. I meet with the boys tomorrow at 11am. Can't wait to hear what they've got for me now.

It is quite chilly tonight and I have my little space heater going full throttle.

Saturday in the hood

I worked on The Book for most of Saturday. However, Saturday evening the neighbors and I had plans. Gary, across from Emily, was having a dinner that he gave at an auction to raise money. (I think there were a variety of semi-celebs giving these dinners away.) At any rate, they weren't overly successful, so the chef's at the party started volunteering to assist. Steven Pyles volunteered to help with Gary's. So the rest of us on the street decided we would be cute and have a porch party and watch the goings on across the street. We cooked hamburgers (go Gene) and had apple pie for dessert.

Towards the end of the night, a plate of food is sent across the street to us (looked amazing and tasted even better) courtesy of Mr. Pyles whose only request was a hamburger that we happily sent his way.

It was very cute and loads of fun. I did take a sleeping pill when I went to bed so that I wouldn't have nightmares from Saturday's earlier events. It mostly worked.

Oh and the general consensus of the neighbors is that they think the reason it took Dave 20 minutes to call is that he was in bed arguing with his wife about whether or not to call . . .he lost so the call was made. Could be. Heaven knows she's a total nut job.

More with Dave and Darlene

Friday afternoon I come rushing home to feed the dogs etc before heading back to school to work the football game. I was on the phone to MaryBeth and ready to jam gears when I see Dave behind my car. I admit it, I thought for a moment, I know how to end this conflict; just a tap on the gas and no more Dave. But I didn't. So he comes around to the driver's side, I roll the window down and he begins his awe shucks routine.

"Gee yesterday morning your dogs they woke us up when they barked really early, was that a mistake?"

I have two answers I desperately want to give to this. 1) That is the stupidest question I have been asked in a very long time and 2) mistake? hell no, that took 4 months of training and several thousand dollars to get her to bark just that way facing just the right direction to get maximum volume and annoyance out of her. How'd we do?

Instead I just looked at him and said, "Thank you." It startled him a little but then he went on to try to say more. So I said, "Thank you." again and then told him I had to go. I rolled up the window and drove out of the driveway. The look on his face was priceless. He was totally flummoxed. I still laugh thinking about it.

I have just decided there is no point in entertaining any type of conversation about the dogs. Yes, I know that dogs barking at the crack of dawn is annoying. I agree. That is why I hop to when I hear them. They are actually getting better too I might add. They have gone out multiple mornings in the last couple of weeks without making any noise at all. It is not like there is any confusion about what they want to have happen. I know they want my dogs to never make any noise, I get that. It isn't like they hear anything I say on the matter because they are the king and queen of crazy town.

Very sad story, might not want to read, but had to write

Saturday afternoon I had just turned on Gaston off Dumont walking the hellion and her trusty companion, Buddy when I heard a noise. I looked up and a car had hit a dog. The dog looked a lot like Buddy only white with brown spots. It was laying on the ground with its paws in the air. I thought it was dead, but there was a group of men at the apartments on the other side of the street. One of the men yelled and started running toward the dog. (In the meantime the car that hit the dog continued on without stopping.)

When the man called the dogs name, his tail started wagging. I totally lost it at that point. When the man picked the dog up, blood was coming out of his mouth, so I know he died. It was really horrible. I still start crying when I think about it.

Imagine how much dogs love us, that his tail started wagging just from the sound of his owner's voice.

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF

That is all I can say. We have a football game tonight, so I'll be at school until very late. The house was cleaned yesterday, and it looks mighty fine. What a good feeling to come home to a clean house.

This weekend is nothing but working on the book.

Bright ideas come back to bite

So, I think I've already mentioned that my freshman English class was going to be going over to Armstrong Elementary to work with Mrs. Gieson's 4th grade class. Well, we did it yesterday morning. All of the kids had a great time, and I think they had a lot of fun, but we didn't actually have a concrete plan. We were a little loosey goosey if you will.

I found out later the principal at Armstrong was so excited she called Gena (director of curriculum for the district), and that the admin building was all agaga about what we were doing. Ug. Couldn't they have waited until we had a firmer plan??? At any rate, we get together again on the 30th of October.

Weird side note, I had 4 parents volunteer to drive and 2 parents say they would drive their own child back . . . yet at 8:45 I had 8 parents show up ??? What is that about. Freaking crazy people.

Photographer Hell

So, I met with Shawn Wednesday evening. I told him all the pictures had to be taken (or retaken) by November 1st. He said that if the data retrieval company didn't call by this afternoon to say everything had been saved, he would send letters to all of the parents letting them know what was going on.

I asked if I could have the disk of senior pictures that they did have for senior ads. He said that he would bring it in the morning when he came to take retake pictures at the school Thursday morning.

Guess what? Thursday morning, no photos. (He did bring them by after school was out.)

I had two mothers come by and want to use senior photos in senior ads. I explained to them what was going on and that was why I couldn't say yes, because it might not be as easy as just sending a photo to me.

Shawn called and left a message telling me NOT to telling anyone what was going on. WHAT??? Is he insane? I called him back and said I wasn't willing to lie, they could handle the truth.

He gave me some song and dance about how all the parents calling would put him behind. As if it would be my fault if he got behind on anything else.

Now I feel like I don't have a choice but to call the boys, tell them what is going on and give them an option of what to do. SHIT SHIT SHIT

Dave strikes again

Ironically, several people have asked about good ole' Dave. He actually had been quiet for the last two weeks, but sadly it isn't because he finally accepted that dogs bark, or because he realized the whole neighborhood knows what an ass he is.

Sabrina starts harassing me at 2am to go out. I refuse, but finally crack at about 5am. (mainly because I have to potty too). Of course as I take care of business, her dumb butt runs outside and barks. I hop up, run out, yell Sabrina NO. (For effect, don't you know)

Alas, not enough. I get them back inside, go back to bed, and 18 minutes later (I would say 20 but I don't want to be accused of exaggerating) Dave calls. Wakes me up. (I now consider us to be even) I don't answer (I really want to answer, but I figure that there is nothing to be gained by speaking to him at this hour of the morning. Now that I think about, I'm curious about what he thinks is to be gained by talking at 5:30 in the morning). He CALLS A SECOND TIME. What a total Jackass.

His message is that I told them I would let the dogs out until 7am (no, what I said was that I wouldn't leave for school until 7am - if he's going to give me shit no matter what, I might as well start leaving earlier.

He then said we were going to have to talk about this. Hmm, no, no we don't. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The waiting is killing me . . .

I wish I could explain in detail what is going on. The long and the short of it is that about two weeks ago Shawn Northcutt (really, his assistant) called me and told me that their computer had crashed (apparently they don't have back-ups) and they were taking it to be fixed. They have put me off repeatedly, but sworn that I would know something today. This evening at 6pm I called and left a message for Shawn that he needed to call me back and let me know. I went downstairs and told the principal what was going on.

Tomorrow I'll leave a message (somehow I doubt he answers) letting him know an email will go out to the senior parents letting them know what is going on and that a new photographer will be hired to shoot the senior class. At that point, in case you didn't realize it, all hell should break loose.

Did I mention that shawn has already been paid 10,000 by the Book committee to shoot the Hall of Fame recipients etc. I will be contacting the book committee tomorrow evening to let them know perhaps tehy need to hire someone new to shoot the photos. aaauuuggghhhh

Tomorrow should suck too. Oh and it is PSAT testing day.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What a crappy week . . .

AND it was only 4 days. What a beating. I'm not even sure I can point to any specific thing. It was just one damn thing after another. I am so tired. I am overwhelmed with the book and The Book. I don't have the energy to write more than this. If I can get more of The Book done this weekend, maybe I'll be a little less stressed. Maybe

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Quick Update

I went up to Ok City Saturday morning. Although MaryBeth hates OK, her house is cute, and she has already knows her way around town. We had a nice weekend. Ironically, Mike and the kids ended up coming down to Dallas this weekend, so I passed them on the highway.

Her dog Daisy is adorable. We took her for a walk, and basically hung out. Very delightful. I headed home Sunday evening. Monday I managed to get all my ironing done (there was a lot), some work on The Book, and finished grading papers.

Today I got to call quite a few parents about their little darlings failing my English class. It is sooo annoying. They all have at least 1 zero.

At any rate, today sucked just because I was so damn busy. I trie dto get all of my copies done for the six weeks. I need to finish work on a flip chart presentation for the morning, which means no work on the book. Auugghhh the stress is killing me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why must sleep be so difficult????

I went to bed at a reasonable time last night (between 9-10). It was well after 11 before I finally went to sleep. Theeeennnnnn I woke up a little after 4. What is THAT about?? I finally gave up at about 5 and just got up.

On the plus side, I made myself a lovely cup of tea and I have been able to mosey through my morning.

I think it is a home football game tonight, so I should be working that. I'll get up bright and early in the morning and head up to visit MaryBeth. (I'll be making a quick stop at the Canine Country Club; the kids just need some time to run amok ; )

What she doesn't know is that I'll be bring all of my laundry with me!! If I don't, I'll be going naked next week to school, and they do so frown upon that.

For those interested, my goal for today is to enter all the grades I have, grade the journals and the persuasive writing the kids have done. Feel free to harass me if I haven't completed my mission!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

One more day . . .

By the time I left school today I had another headache (for those of you keeping track that is the third headache in three days).

I took the dogs for a walk. My plan was to walk them for four miles (I have just been walking them on the Swiss Ave circuit, but Dr. Freeman suggested I needed a longer walk, so I figured it wouldn't hurt them either. We did get farther than usual, but Buddy started hurling, so I thought perhaps it would be best to head home. He seems to be ok now.

I've been grading madly since tomorrow is the end of the six weeks. While grading, I've been watching my oh so exciting filled with birds chirping and hardly any barking home video. I figured since today is the day the cleaning people come, they would be worse today than any other. Turns out, not so much.

As a reward, I gave them bones that I bought yesterday that are HUGE. I mean really big. I should take a picture!!

Oh, I should probably mention that this summer at the workshop in Boston I spoke with one of the elementary school principals about getting together with a 4th grade teacher and having our classes work together.

So the teacher and I finally met up last Friday. I think it will be fun, but we are both trying to figure out what we are going to do etc.

The principal sent an email to us today all fired up about how she told everyone at the principals meeting (that includes the super and my principal) about how we are doing this and it is going to be so amazing. Talk about putting a fire under our butts!! Now we REALLY have to do it! Yikes.

Something Fun and then thought provoking . . .

My friend, Pam Colley, popped into my room this morning. I had forgotten she was subbing for one of the librarians today and tomorrow. What a fun surprise! We got to have lunch together and chat. It was sooooo nice. Now I'm excited about tomorrow too!

We talked for a little bit about a student I have that is having all sorts of problems. He doesn't feel like he has friends and lunch is a bad time for him. We had a teacher conference last Friday with him and his mom. It made me think about two things.

One. Just how much I hated high school. Most teachers teach because they loved high school. It is truly ironic that I am a teacher considering how desperate I was to get out. I've joked about it before, but if I really think about it, it is amazing. Which led me to thought two.

If Pam hadn't been my French teacher and allowed me to eat lunch with her every day. I'm not sure I would have made it out of high school. I definitely didn't have anyone I hung out with by the time I hit high school. I was so totally miserable most of the time.

At any rate, it is interesting to think about. She was my angel. All I could tell that kid was the best part of hating high school was knowing when you got out, the worst was behind you!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Time Flies

It is amazing that I think I am keeping up with the blog, and then I realize it has been four days since I last posted.

Let's see . . .

Monday morning I got a call from Dave, very politely, letting me know that the dogs had barked that morning and that they had barked the evening before after 10:30. I'd like to once more point out that when they bark literally that is what they do. Bark. Like once or twice. Not incessant. At any rate, I didn't get the call. He tried to be tricky and call from the home number, but I didn't recognize it, so I didn't answer.

Later, he called that night to very politely let me know that he had a very early flight, so he would be going to bed early, would I keep the dogs in. Sure, no problem. I didn't let them out after 8. Now, I did get to clean up a gawd awful mess, courtesy of Buddy, in the dining room.

I was up really late Sunday and Monday working on spreads for The Book. I met with the boys at 11am Tuesday. I think they were pleased with what they saw. They had a lot of stuff they wanted modified, so I told them I would make the changes and submit to them as pdfs.

My 1pm yesterday my head felt like it was in a vice. By 2pm when my friend Roseanne strolled by my room, I had the lights out in the office and my head hanging over the trashcan. She said she would watch my class the last part of the period, so I headed home. I took a bath (always a requirement) and went to bed. I woke up at about 7 . . .nearly had a heart attack thinking I was going to be late for work. I woke up enough once I was moving to think, it could still be night which thank heavens it was.

I have another headache today. Started about an hour ago. I hate this. I had a message from my friend Cindy that she was reading about sleep apnea and having slept with me more than once, she feels that I might be a candidate for it. Headaches are also caused by sleep apnea. I think I'm going to make an appt to see my doctor about my sinus issues and then talk about the sleep thing.

At any rate, I may be loosing another night of work if I go home and go to bed again. sigh.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thoughts

I'm really disappointed in Blogger because I have all these pictures on a previous entry that when I went to show Roseanne, half of them didn't show up. Grrr. In the meantime, my friend, Kristen, showed me a YouTube video of Penguins. We decided that we are the adult penguin, and the three bouncing ones are all of the people constantly tugging on us wanting something. I need an ID, Where are the pictures on SASI, Perkins my computer won't work, Perkins I can't get the camera to take pictures, etc, etc etc. Just makes me want to boot people off the ice float, not that it does any good.

Feeling snakebit

Lowlights of yesterday:

I got a phone call from Kevin, the assistant to Shawn Northcutt. Shawn is not only the photographer for the senior class at Highland Park, but also the photographer for the book. In addition he was helping me with the template designs for the pages of The Book (read that as he was doing them.) Kevin called to tell me that Shawn wasn't able to get to them before he went out of town. I literally started crying. I couldn't stop it. It was instantaneous. My plan had me working all weekend like the devil to meet this deadline. I don't know what I am going to do now. I am totally freaked out. Shawn sent a text later in the day to the effect of "when you aren't mad anymore." My response was that I'm not mad, I'm totally stressing.

Without even speaking with Scooby I was once again astounded by his stupidity. For those that don't know Adobe Creative Suites (photoshop and Indesign) is what 90% of the journalism programs in America use. It can be bought for the Mac platform or the PC platform.

The dept chair for technology told me that the school is going to buy a site license for Adobe Creative Suites (PC). Great, I asked if he would find out how much 30 computer licenses for macs would cost. He came back a few minutes later, said he had talked to Scooby and Scoobs thought that you didn't have to buy separately for Mac and PC. I just looked at him dumbfounded. Seriously, to think that Scooby has to be a total freaking idiot.

In addition, I was talking to a teacher who told me he had heard that we really went to town to try to hire Scooby and helped pay for him to live in Highland Park and a bunch of stuff. Huh?? Where did he hear that?? Scooby. Then he told me he had heard that Scooby won all of these awards and was one of the best in the country. Double huh? Yup, heard it from Scooby.

It is Saturday, I had a kid that wanted to come up and get some work done. I thought great, I could get a couple of hours of work done too. Nope, just like last weekend, the server and email are down. It is sooo frustrating!! I could scream.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Buddy inspects

This morning I'm trying to get dressed. I've given both dogs rawhides, so they are being good because they are very busy working on those. Cat follows me into the bathroom, Buddy follows soon after. He sees Cat. Cat goes low and still. Buddy approaches slowly, and then starts poking Cat with his snout as if to test whether Cat was real. Either that or whether Cat wanted to play which he did not. Wish I'd had video!

(Small moment to comment I had to pause in my writing for a moment to run grab Sabrina who had gone outside (don't know why) and barked at 6:45. I'll confess, she actually barked several times. oops) I'd feel worse if a. she did it all the time and b. I thought it would bother any of the non crazy neighbors.

Oh, and I woke up with a headache. That sucks.

Downside of 8 hours of video

Yesterday I tried to download (actually I'm converting to mpeg) (like over 24 hours) and somehow it got stopped aauuuggghh. Started trying again last night at about 9 and we're at 24%. This could take a while.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My neighbors the nut cases.

On the plus side, lots of stuff to write about with the crazies next door.

It began innocently enough, Sabrina went to the bathroom last night a little after 10. The dog behind us is still up, so she gave him a shout out. I went out and made her come in. I made the deadly mistake of going to the bathroom. Sabrina, that wicked creature, went back out for one more shout out. I got her in and we all went to bed.

I have the mother of all front motion detector lights. I roll over at about 10:45 and see the motion detector light go out, then I see it go on again. (Mind you the dogs are making no noises.) I get up to check it out and Cat is at the front door. I'm trying to figure out if there is anther cat he is eyeballing. Nope, it is my neighbor, Darline, you know, of Dave and Darlene fame.

She asks me if I knew that the dogs had marked earlier. Yes, I knew, and I brought them inside as soon as I heard them bark.

Hard to remember the order of the rest of it. But let's see . . .

She told me that is was incredibly rude to let my dogs out after 9pm. (I told her NO it wasn't)

She told me that they had an agreement with the former neighbors and they wouldn't let their dogs out after 9pm or before 9pm and not before 10 on weekends. (Seriously?????)

She told me that dogs can hold it for 8-9 hours, and I should read up on it. (I did tell her that it was fine if she practiced animal cruelty, but I was unwilling.)

She told me again that she could not believe I would let my dogs bark so late. At this point I pointed out that two nights ago I was awoken at about 10:30 by her dogs. She said that was not ok. I told her that no it was ok, that's what dogs do, they bark, they get let in, we go back to sleep.

I went through the process of why Sabrina was left outside the 24 hours I went to San Diego before she was being taken to be boarded. That if they had called at any point on Sunday I could have done something, but that at 3am Monday I couldn't do anything, or at 4am Monday.

She told me that my dogs barked all the time. I told her that was interesting since I had started videotaping the dogs recently and there really wasn't any barking. She practically interrupts me to tell me that they have video too. "Really?" I ask. "I would love to see it because I don't know when it is happening. " No answer to that.

She told me that my dogs barked all day Monday and Tuesday. ( I was so shocked, I just looked at her and said, "You are a liar." The terminex people came on Monday and they were locked in the house until 3pm when Emily came by and let them out. I didn't even mention the part about my being home all day on Tuesday and the dogs being inside with me.)

I told her that really all bets were off when they called the city of Dallas because my only obligation at this point was to keep the dogs from barking for 15 continuous minutes. I will give her credit for admitting that they did do it.

She told me that was because when I was talking to Dave I acted like I really wasn't going to do anything. I told her that was because what I heard from him was the same thing I was hearing from her and that was that their expectation was that my dogs would never bark, and I didn't really see that as a possibility. Nooo, that's not what they are saying. Really, what are y'all saying then? Because I'm trying and I'm not getting very far. That's because I'm not doing anything she says. No, I am doing things. I have tried multiple things. She says they really appreciate that I am trying to do things, but that I have to do something about my dogs.

Again I pointed out that they very obviously don't appreciate anything that I have tried to do (She told me that I hadn't done anything.) Later she made a comment about appreciating what I have done, then she later said that I wasn't doing anything again. SHE IS PSYCHOTIC.

I pointed out that I had been Johnny on the spot every time they called about the dogs. They called, I was getting someone to help me get the dogs in.

What else was said. . .

At one point as she was moving towards her home (thank you FINALLY) she said that she really didn't want to have bad relations with her neighbor etc. Whatever.

Of course, then I had trouble sleeping which is even more annoying. That is another point. Until recently, I have really been a 9pm to bed girl. So, the dogs really aren't out late. They go to bed when I do.

At any rate, ended the conversation, go back to bed, and remember that the re-take photographers were supposed to be at school bright and early and I was supposed to be meeting them. So, once again I fed the dogs Benadryl. That is the last time I am doing that. It was just awkward on the heels of the conversation where I tell her that I am trying to get the dogs in by 9 and not out before 7.

I hope I remember it all because this is gonna have to be like my little diary. I have a feeling there will be more. Although right now all I can say is that right now, I am not willing to have any more conversations about the dogs with either one of the wackadoodles next door. There is no point because they are crazy and they are liars.

My affair with pharmaceuticals

I had a headache today. Took one of my headache pills. About an hour later realized that my head still hurt, so I took another. Still hurt another 40 minutes later which is weird because two always does the trick. At any rate, I took a third. Woooweee was I whoozy. I could feel that third one hit, that's right as the school day is ending. At any rate, I had a meeting at the admin building at 4. Luckily one of my students was going to the same meeting, so I told her to sit by me and if I started drooling to whack me. Turned out ok. I was pretty much ok by 5:30 when I finally started home.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Photos

Doesn't the sofa look awesome! Notice the glass doors are now shut. The dogs are forbidden from the front living room. Cat is now very happy. He lolls about in the living room blissfully. Sure, every once in a while they pay attention and do their job, keeping their eyes on the goings on up and dow the street. . . but most of the time, they can be found asleep on the job, under the table, under the chest, Although I like this one. I'm getting the eye. You know, "helllooo we are ready for bed, hurry up." When I got mom and dad to come over and help install curtains in t he dining room (that look fabulous) , the dogs were tossed outside. As you can see they were anxious to be inside. Pitiful really.

Special K in the afternoon

I came home this afternoon to find that the dogs had stretched themselves out reached the counter and gotten my grocery bag with two boxes of special k bars and ATE THEM ALL. Box and everything. Remnants of rappers and box are all that remained. Sorry suckers. That whole thing about chocolate being bad for dogs, just made them spastic near as I can tell.

I watched the video. I have to say not much more barking that SAturday. A little bit, but not much. Just reassures me again that D and D are INSANE.

I have photos to add, but I can't get the stupid thing to work. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How pet adoption has turned me into a loon

Ok, some of you may remember that when I adopted Buddy I had to jump through hoops. Home visit, then I had to go to the pet store with the adoption chick. So one of the things she said is that I needed to buy rawhides made in America which you might not know is harder to do than you might imagine. So I’m searching for American rawhides when a pet store employee asks if I need any help. I explain my dilemma and he tried to reassure me that it really didn’t matter where they were made.


In the meantime, I can tell you that Buddy likes to chew. Everything. He is a bit of a menace. Stupid dog is lucky he snuggles so well.

I need to go to school EARLY tomorrow, but, of course, I can't because the dogs will start barking. I may just say screw it.



English

So, last week I had a student with a 74 tell a counselor that my class is too easy, so he wants to move to Pre-AP. (seems he forgot to mention the 74 part) The pre-ap teachers were already pissed because of kids moving from regular to pre-ap. Now rather than study what they are doing, and why kids think that is easier than regular. They just go to the Asst Principal and say we are doing stuff wrong.

I got another email today from a mom saying her kid has informed her pre-ap is easier and he'd have a higher grade. She is probably right. At 4 weeks, pre-ap had only given 6 grades. One of which was a Hobbit test on the first Friday. Now if kids weren't dropping like flies from that, then they gave a test that was much too easy.

At any rate, Lisa (the other reg teacher) had to meet with the dept chair and AP to discuss. Lucily she had all of her stuff together and the pre-ap is having a meeting tomorrow. I'll be stirring the pot early tomorrow.

Oh my gosh today has been a nightmare. I mean nothing has gone right. So I took the day off expecting to get a lot done. Not so. I woke up with a headache (that is the dogs fault they were very growlly this morning, and that is just not a pleasant way to start the day.)

Every time I turned around something else was going wrong with school. I had the second half of The Hobbit I was showing today, but, of course, they couldn’t get sound to work on the projection system. I had a guest speaker coming to talk to the photographers in the afternoon- he had the time wrong, so that didn’t happen. I had phone calls all day from the kids about this and that going wrong. I got an email from an asst principal that the make-up photos scheduled to be taken on the cafeteria stage on Thursday were going to be a problem . . . could we reschedule. Aaauhh, no. not so much.

I had maid company 3 scheduled to come by at 3, and a meeting scheduled with Shawn Northcutt at 11. Shawn called at 10 needing to reschedule for 3. Cripes, I guess that did work out because she was able to reschedule for earlier. I just picked up photos from one place and I’m on my way to the next, but I’m early, so I figured I could stop and do this. The lady did look at my house and very politely ask when was the last maid there (that would be less than 7 days ago, although it looks like a bomb went off in the house).

Oh, I guess one other good thing, the redone sofa arrived. It is beautiful!!I am so happy with it. The dogs are no longer allowed in the front room!

At any rate, I will pick up photos, run by school and pick up my thumb drive (that I left stuck in the school computer yesterday afternoon), then down to shawn’s then back to school for the 7pm summer Europe trip with parents (hopefully some will actually show). OK. my life totally sucks.

So, I get to school and they have a new security system so all the doors are locked and it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get in. Grrrr.

So, Kristen stands at one door, and I stand at another. Now, while I am standing at a side door a woman comes up as if to move past me. I ask her if she is there for the Europe meeting. She says no. I tell her that I can't let her in. She gets bitchy and says she comes every week and the door is always blocked open. I tell her the door wasn't blocked open when I came down, and I wasn't letting her in because of all of the new rules and threats of bodily harm for letting people in the building She tries to push past. I block. I close the door and go to the wrestling coaches and they let her in.

In the meantime, no parents show up. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I'm gonna eat some worms.

Then back home. What a butt whipping this day has been.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The end of a long day

I can't begin to describe the chaos that was my morning. Sabrina kept barking, so kept having to give her the evil eye, so I finally left hte back door open to make it easier. She left the kitchen long enough for Cat to make his escape. Once I realized he was AWOL, I started looking for him. The terminex guy was coming this morning so I had to make sure everyone was in the house. I thought I had the dogs in the kitchen, but realized that I hadn't shut the doggy door so they went into the yard. Once Sabrina realized I NEEDED her inside, there was no catching her, the game was on.

Finally got the dogs in. Gave up on the cat, gave Emily the cat treats to see if she could seduce him out. (She eventually did).

Got to school, had about 10 kids waiting on me. Had a dept meeting 4th, late (as always) because I was on the phone with a parent.

2:00 My friend Mark showed up to work with the girls on the designs of the book. I was with him until 5pm when I met up with Fred (another English teacher) to go to dinner and the HP book club meeting. I think there are some great books we are considering for this year. I can't wait to start reading!!

I got home after 9pm. My eyes are burning, but the dogs are acting like hooligans.

Tomorrow I'm off again. The sofa is being returned to me in the morning, I am meeting with Shawn about "The Book" at 11am, I'm meeting with a new company about cleaning the house at 2, and I'm trying to get a huge portion of the first deadline done tomorrow. Aiy aiy aiy.

Radio silence with D and D. Praise the Lord.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Reason Prevails, kind of

Alright, so I was talking to Fran this morning, and she convinced me that I shouldn't send the finely crafted 2am letter. She doesn't think dipshit and the dingdong will grasp the point of the letter anyway. Bummer.

In the meantime, I set up a video camera on my dogs. Should be interesting to see what they are like when I am not home.

In the meantime, I'm at school with the ads managers as they work to finish up their ads. They all very sweetly volunteered to "ring and run" the neighbors house and make prank calls. Oh how I yearn to take them up on it. No, I won't. Give me some credit.

Ok, back to work as I daydream about ways to torture my neighbors.

mean cranky me might have made an appearance

Welllll, so if you read the last post you know I was up at about 12-2 last night, and since I was up I went ahead and let the dogs out of the bedroom. Since the dogs were out of the bedroom, you know Sabrina thought it was ok to go outside, and since the City of Dallas doesn't recognize any difference between 2am barking and 2pm barking as long as it isn't for 15 continuous minutes . . . I just made sure it wasn't 15 continuous minutes.

Sabrina woke up at 6am as usual. She is really annoying in the morning when she wants to go out. And, since I no longer have a reason to keep her in . . .

But by GOD that dog has not been allowed to bark for 15 continuous minutes (Truthfully, I don't think she ever has, but I think my neighbors are about to learn to appreciate that fact.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

My letter to D and D

I am still so pissed about the stupid noise complaint that I can't sleep. I woke up about an hour ago (that would be about midnight) and realized I was writing a letter over and over in my head to Dave and Darlene (henceforth to be referred to as the dipshit and the dingdong or d and d.) At any rate I decided maybe if I got up and actually wrote the letter I'd be able to go back to sleep. I'll let you know.

Dear Dave and Darlene,

I was disappointed to receive a letter from the City of Dallas regarding a noise complaint. I was disappointed for two reasons. Dave very clearly said to me that one, he wanted to work through this as good neighbors should, and two, he would not make a call to the City of Dallas. It turns out Dave was disingenuous at best.

However, I was not surprised. It was also clear to me during our meeting on the porch, Wednesday, September 12th that a reasonable solution would not be possible since what you really want is for my dogs to never make any noise. As I have already mentioned, I found this to be particularly ironic and hypocritical since, if your dogs are outside, they are barking.

In fact, another irony occurred as I contacted the City of Dallas to get more information. I heard loud incessant barking. No, not my dogs, yours.

In addition, as I reflect on what I have tried to do and the efforts I have made to be a good neighbor during this time of conflict, I realize that you are not going to appreciate any actions on my part since your expectation is that my dogs should not ever make any noise.

Dave came and spoke to me on the day I hired a service to clean my house. The dogs were kept outside so that the service would be able to clean, however the service was asked to let the dogs in as soon as they completed the cleaning. You contacted the City of Dallas at 7:55 am Wednesday, September 19th. That is the time the cleaning service arrived the following week and was looking for the key to my house.

I suspect that should my dogs bark because my home is being broken into, you are much more likely to contact the City of Dallas to file a noise complaint than to contact the City of Dallas Police Department to report a burglary.

As I study the section of the ordinance that mentions animal noise I see that the hour of the noise is not mentioned.

Animal Noise
Noise made by any animal is considered unreasonable if it continues for more than 15 minutes or exceeds the sound pressure level allowed in a residential district. A person who is disturbed by an animal who unreasonably barks, howls, crows, or makes other unreasonable noise may file a disturbance complaint with Dallas Animal Services, who will mail a notice to the owner.

This being the case, I see no reason for me to try to keep my dogs in the house until a certain hour or past a certain hour as I have been doing. It is all considered the same by the City of Dallas, and all efforts I thus made are to no avail as seen by the complaint.

I do not know what you hoped to gain by this action. It is not in good faith nor is it in a neighborly and cooperative manner. It is aggressive, antagonistic and spiteful.

Signed, moi

Work progresses on the book

Got a lot done today. Lots of calls, emails and getting stuff I need. Let's hope it continues.

Dog Wars

First allow me to say that yesterday and today I locked the dogs outside in the afternoon to see how bad they are. Turns out they really don't bark at all. I mean it.

However, in the mail today came a notice of noise complaint. That's right, my looser neighbor Dave has filed a complaint. I called to get some more detail. Shall we discuss the irony of barking barking barking while I called . . . not my dogs . . . HIS.

At any rate the call was made Wed morning at 8am. (That would be when the lady arrived to clean my house.)

Ah, but I have my trusty video camera. Luckily his dogs are very predictable, that is, if they are outside, they bark, and I have a video camera. Wonder how long it will take to get my 15 minutes of video of his stupid dogs barking?

Can not begin to describe how pissed I am. I'd like to add in part because he very clearly said to me when he "spoke to me" last week that he would not call and complain. I sooo dislike liars.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Productive Illness

I got a lot done today. In part, because the internet is my friend. It is amazing how much information is out there. I have called and emailed a gazillion people. Trying to reach relatives of the dead to get all of the photos I need. Tomorrow should be more of the same plus working on the copy for at least a couple of these suckers.

Walked the dogs in the am and then tried to walk them again this pm. Annoyingly enough we saw Dante (dog two doors down that they play with) which wouldn't have been a problem if the dogs knew how to behave. They start dragging and pulling a couple of minutes before I realized it was because they saw their little friend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

drs, walks and lawns

Didn't get much done at school today. sigh. Some days are like that. I had a drs appt this afternoon before going back up to school for a little while. I finally convinced her to up my headache prescription. Getting 15 pills at a time was giving me headaches!

Got home to a freshly mown lawn. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

Dogs were wretched when we first emerged from the house, but after we got going, it was probably our best walk yet. They are still playing pretty hard, but hopefully they will calm down before bedtime.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Craziness

Oh the things that can go wrong in my life. We've been finishing senior ads and I've been dealing with crazy ass mothers for weeks now. They are making me nutty.

Monday I began working on getting a lawn care guy and someone to clean the house. Just until Christmas. That way I can focus on working on the stupid book. For the first week I paid for 4 hours of cleaning, and then after is 3 hours.

Wednesday was wild. The cleaning lady was supposed to be there at 8am, but I got a call that they were running late. Fine, no problem. I raced home at 3pm so that I could meet the a/c man at the house.

I drive up and see two people sitting on the front porch. Turns out it is the cleaning lady and her pre-teen son (maybe daughter, hard to tell). Did I pay for that? I walk in the house, and every room is a mess. I leave and go sit on Emily's porch . . . until after 5.

While sitting on the porch, my neighbor Dave came by. That was a beating. Wanted to talk about the dogs. Basically he wants the dogs to never bark. Turns out, that is not an option. It was a bunch of crap.

I had a meeting at 6pm, but, of course, the a/c man hadn't shown up when I had to leave, so Emily met the guy.

I got home from my meeting and called Emily. Turns out Sabrina escaped from the yard while the guy was figuring out that, yes, indeed, my installation of the thermostat is what caused the problem. Luckily, Emily charmed him, cause he only charged the service fee with explicit instructions to never install anything again. Fiiiinnnneeee.

Friday was another football game. Got home fairly late, but I had my neighbors (the ones that like me) let the dogs in so they wouldn't bark.

Saturday I went to the musical. In an effort to maintain the peace, I gave the dogs benedril to make them sleep. How horrible is that?!

Today I interviewed another guy about someone in the book. He was really interesting. And he gave me lots of info.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My brain is cooking

I didn't make it to church this morning because I was sooooo hot last night that I didn't sleep well, but couldn't get my butt out of bed. I thought it was just hot. Not just hot. Blindingly hot. I mowed the lawn, then took a shower. It made me think of stories my dad tells of living in Aruba. Taking showers and sweating while taking the shower. That was me today.

However, I ran some errands and when I got back to the house it was sweltering. It had moved past blindingly hot, if you can imagine such a thing. As I walked around the house, sweat poured off my brow. Sitting still directly under the fan gives some relieve but not a lot quite frankly.

I must mention, there is a chance (very petite chance) it is because I changed out the thermostat, and I possibly didn't do it correctly, although it looked good to me. Unfortunately the unrelenting heat tells me otherwise. It rained this afternoon (forcing me to keep the dogs in the kitchen only so I don't have footprints EVERYWHERE), and it is now cooler outside than it is in. Which brings up the question, why am I sitting inside.

I've called in a service request. We'll see if I can play coy and not have to confess to having changed out the thermostat. Maybe it really is just a coincidence. It's possible.

On another note, one of the errands I ran was the purchase of a bra. I have to say, it is easy to forget how important a good bra is, that is, right up until you put on a really good bra. What a difference. The girls were filled with happiness, perky, yet comfortable.

Back to the house, I walked into the office at one point to discover one of the shelves over the desk had broken. I'm eyeballing the other two trying to determine if I need to get some of the books off of them or are they ok. on the upside the desk area looks more open now. . .

I may have already mentioned the state of affairs of the house in general (aka total disaster). I decided this weekend that I'm going to hire someone to do the lawn and clean the house for the next 3 months. That has to cut down on at least 3 or 4 hours of procrastination a week. My goal is to have both services arranged this week.

I've been studying my calendar, and I believe I have several days of illness ahead in the month of September. cough, cough. Maybe I can focus and get A LOT done. 'Cause apparently I don't have enough pressure on me yet. Go figure.

I can't function in this heat. What a misery. auuuuggghhhhhh. OK, enough whining. Back to whatever it was I was doing before I was doing this. See, I can't even think clearly. Maybe I'll have a refreshing beverage on the porch. It's after 6 . . .

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Little late, No zzzzz's in sight

I got up at 5am yesterday morning so that I could walk the dogs before getting to school. School was fine, worked the football game (we won), then chaperoned the Howdy Dance. Got home at about 1:00. It is the first dance I've done, that I was falling asleep during the dance. I was some kind of tired. I had Emily let the dogs in earlier so they would not bark. (I did NOT want any phone calls from Dave.) When I got home there was paper torn all over the living room and the tv room. The kitchen was covered in muddy footprints. I just went to bed.

Got up and went back to school this morning so the ads managers could work madly. I got some stuff done, but probably should have done more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Open House

Could not forget to post this. Five minutes before open house started one of the other teachers in my wing looks at me and tells me I have a spot on my boob. Exxxxcccceeeelllleeeennnnttttt. So I spent the rest of the evening trying to keep my hair pulled forward and over the stain. Sooo embarrassing. Other than that, it was fine. Nothing to exciting.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Survived week One

Sorry it has taken so long to get around to this.

English I - the kids are really good. I have about 26. They are talkative, but really good. I've already had 2 kids let me know that they would be absent the next day. A cheerleader came in early to start her quiz because she had to leave early for the pep rally. I'm impressed. I am not going to be able to keep up with Lisa's (the other teacher) schedule. She covers so much each day it is crazy and she gives too much homework (read that as stuff I need to grade).

Yearbook - I actually taught all week. I have powerpoints that I got from Jostens when I taught this summer. They are really good. We have a lot of work that needs to be done, but I really want to make sure to cover the basics and be sure the kids really know what they are doing. Mark, a creative accounts manager with Jostens and an all around cool guy came Wednesday and Thursday to work with the editors. I love the fact that he used my promethean board just like a white board, but the cool thing is that I have notes from his visit because I just saved his work when he filled the board. I'd like to add as a side note this is the first time that I have tried to upload video directly to the blog. It is taking freaking forever. It may not even post. grrrr

I thought I was going to get a lot more done this weekend on the book than I did. Friday night my neighbors and I grabbed a bite to eat at the local Mexican restaurant down the way. Gene , on the left , is married to Linda, on the right. They live across the street from me. Emily, in the middle, lives next door. I got a lot done, just not as uch on the book as I thout I would. I took my comforter to the local washateria to be cleaned. I got my laundry done (not at the local washateria.) Mowed the lawn, I'm sure I did other very important stuff too.

But I knew you would want to get caught up with my babies. They all went to the vet last week, and they all got a clean bill of health. I saw Sabrina and Cat sawing logs. Couldn't resist getting a photo. I keep trying to get photos that show how much bigger Sabrina is than Buddy. If I could get a photo of Buddy sliding under her legs when they are chasing each other around, I would do it. But this does kind of show how he is under her. Then, what I call oh aren't they so cute. Buddy looks to Sabrina to see what they should destroy next. Isn't this a great photo????? I took the dogs for a walk Saturday morning. Sabrina got stung by something. Her back foot got all swollen so I took her to the vet. Doesn't she look sad and woebegone? Trust me it didn't last long, although a couple of Benedryl made me think she was about to fall into a coma. I haven't seen her be that still for that long . . . well . . . ever. Open house is tomorrow night. Yuck.

Monday, August 27, 2007

An inauspicious beginning

Sabrina wakes me up at about 3am to go out. For the visual, she wacks me on the head with her paw. It is a fairly surefire way to make sure I get up. Hard to ignore a dog doing that.

Get up, sigh. 6:50 I get a call from the Lifetouch photography guy. (Background, Friday afternoon I call him because everything was supposed to be set up on the yearbook ID computer to make ID's for students that didn't get them made before school started. That was not done. He tells me that he had to leave early, but he would send me the templates, and if I had a problem to call. "Ok" I said in a calm voice, " but please know if it doesn't work Monday morning I will go postal."

My guess is he took me to heart, a good thing, but failed to let me know the change of plans, a bad thing. 6:50 Lifetouch guy. "Are you at school yet?" "nooooooo" "OK, well, I'm here whenever you get here to make sure your computer is up and working properly." Grrrr. So I haul to school. (No breakfast grrr)

I get to school, he does his thing on the computer. While he is doing that, I'm trying to get a video I downloaded off the internet to work. Does great on the computer at my desk, needs to download an update to Quicktime to work on the projection system. Of course. So I have to call the computer tech guys to work on that since I need it first period. Why did I think using technology of the first day of school was a good idea??? What was I thinking??

Long about 7:30 the students start rolling in. Not my students, the students that need their IDs made so that they can get their schedules (that I am also in charge of as it turns out). I have 20-30 kids getting pictures taken etc. In the meantime, my first period English students show up. So, I finally clear out the room (they haven't gotten their IDs I've just written names down and passed out schedules) a little after 8:10 (when first period starts).

Roll through first, a parade of people visit my room. Seriously. During the year, it is as if no one knows where my room is, not today. Lisa comes by (she knows where it is, but she has first period off and she doesn't know what to do with herself). Susan Rhoads, the librarian, comes by, just wants to see how Pam is doing and if she will be subbing this year. Hey Pam, look for a shout out from Susan some time this week. At the rate I'm going, I'll be calling in sick too . . . soon. Mr Cates, the principal, comes by. Total weirds me out. He's awesome and I'm thrilled he came by, but he doesn't usually unless I'm in trouble.

Second period goes fine, third goes fine. I'm off fourth and fifth, but again, parade of people is now mostly students needing IDs, couple of parents about ads, little this, little that. But I'm starting to not feel so hot. I have a headache (take the only migraine pill I have), drink some water . . . Mom, is already shaking her head, she knows what's coming.

I start sixth period vertical, but I start fading fast. I'm talking slowly, get an icepack out of the freezer (yes, I have an icepack ready for just this type of thing.) by the end of the period I'm on the couch. Seventh starts - lights out, don't even try to get up or open eyes. Talk to them for a minute or two, but basicially sixth and seventh my editors run the class, go through stuff that I talked about 2nd and 3rd and cover for me.

Another side note, I started the day with my hair in a cute ponytail, make-up looking fabulous, cute skirt, top, heels. By seventh, shoes are off, hair is down (and not looking great I might add, there was a reason I choose a ponytail for the first day), icepack has messed the make-up up. I am not a pretty sight.

Mr. Williams, asst principal, comes by to check on me. About 5 minutes later, hurling in the trashcan outside of the room. Very professionally.

I call Susan, principal's asst, to radio assts.
"Hi Susan, I've started the year with a bang."
"Great"
"Could you call the janitors to come empty the trashcan outside my room."
"Oh, no you didn't"

(Again, how sad that all I had to say was empty the trash and we've been through this enough she knew what had happened.)

I leave school as soon as the bell rings for 8th. As I'm pulling out of the parking garage telling MB, "wow I still don't feel that great, my stomach is still upset" I have to hang up on her so that I can throw the door open and throw up in front of God and everyone TWO MORE TIMES.

Got home, went to bed. I'm awake now, so I guess there is a pretty good chance I will survive both the headache and the humiliation.

Still haven't finished the syllabus for yearbook. That was to be done this afternoon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

4 days down . . .

Considering how much I dislike inservice week, I thought it would be appropriate to begin with a photo of cat at the vet. I feel the way he looks. Pissed off. Pained to have to suffer through the indignities. Generally unhappy. I've come home each night this week ready to pass out. Please see Sabrina as my visual aid. She is asleep and falling off the sofa. I'm suppposed to meet with scooby tomorrow morning. That makes me want to bat my head into a wall. (Sorry, no visual for that, well, except for Buddy . . . doesn't he look pained to be at the vet? That is how I feel when I have to talk to Scooby.) I won't even say how much I spent at the vet. Holy Cow. I'd like to say that I've done something interesting this week. Not so. The girls have been working really hard on templates. They are being very patient as they try to catch me in between meetings to ok spreads. Still a lot to do and only one day left to do it.

Kristen and I had scheduled a meeting for the Europe trip. Only 2 parents came!! I am sooo bummed. We are going to try to have another meeting and see what happens. My final visual. The close up of Cat .

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School

Always a beating. First we have the cheer parade in the morning when they talk about how great we all are yada yada yada, then they tell us some choked up story about how years later students still remember who we are (as if there isn't enough pressure on us not to mess the kids up any more than their parents have), then they tell us how we are all committed to greatness, we should be committed alright . . .

So I have my new schedule for life which already had some pressure put on it since I left late. I got home walked the dogs and now I have 14 minutes left of dinner time, so I'm eating and writing. Then two hours of working on the book and then an hour of cleaning up, getting ready for tomorrow etc.

Getting yearbook pictures taken starts tomorrow so I have to be at school early to make sure that all goes according to plan, then it is a curriculum day. Blecky! That should suck me dry.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Last Saturday

For the last Saturday of freedom before school starts, I have failed to use it properly. I worked from 8-12:30. I'm impressed that most of the girls did show up and they worked hard. I left early, but they had to leave by 3. The janitors get really cranky if we don't leave in a timely fashion.

I finally used the Spa pass my editors got me at the banquet in the spring. I went to Red Door and got a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and make-up. Probably could have done without the make-up, but it was all super nice. Diane and I made plans to do something this evening, but she ended up going to dinner with her daughters and doing stuff with them. Oh well, so much for a final hoorah.

I am now committed for the next four months to staying on a schedule and working on the book. I have to be dedicated and focused. No accepting invitations to do stuff. Hard core. If I have friends at the end of the four months, it will be a miracle. But there will be a book at the end of four months, there will be a book.

I walked the dogs as sweat poured off of me. Yikes. Emily is out of town, so I have been grabbing her papers for her. I threw yesterday's in the house after walking the dogs. Looks like I should have walked them farther. As you can see they had some energy left to destroy the paper. How sweet. They aren't always naughty. They play like mad things in the yard. You can see the pool in the top left corner, Sabrina is really too big for the pool. They also get the pool dirty and nasty because they get in and out so much. They fight to see who gets to stay in the pool. Silly doggies. I looked out the kitchen window at one point, and they were actually sitting quietly! I'm not sure if you can see how much bigger Sabrina is than Buddy, but she is about twice his size. I have to be careful coming out of the bedrooms. When they start chasing each other circling the house, they are as likely to knock me down as not. Of course, if Buddy stops suddenly and Sabrina is too close then she skids over him because she is so much taller. If I could catch that on film, I would post it in a heartbeat. And then there are the moments I live for . . . they wear themselves out and sleep! I tried to get video of it because Sabrina makes a lot of noise when she sleeps. Snores, snorts, barks etc., but as soon as I started to try she got quiet. Rats. Time for me to go to bed. I have a schedule to keep!