<$BlogRSDUrl$>
Jill's Place
7 days worth of rants & raves

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Look up, there are new pictures up there. Hungry yet??? Glad it's summer??? Seriously, all the photos up top are from Stockstash. There are some amazingly talented people there, and I'm glad they allow their photos to be used, with a linkback, of course. Speaking of, here's a link in addition to the one with several others on the right side of this page. I'm all about the convenience for you, don'tcha know.
6/30/2004 09:44:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Busy times here around our house. When Mark and I went to tour the school yesterday, we were really impressed with pretty much all of it. We decided that if we could get Lauren in, we would. The admissions director told us that they were having a screening today at 10:00, if we could make that. Mark had a meeting, but I could get free, so we said we would be there. So this morning, L and I headed over there for the screening. Now, mind you, she didn't know anything about all this that's been going on - we keep stuff like that away from her if at all possible. It was fairly interesting to explain to her that we were looking at another school for her to attend. She said she would miss her friends, which is not surprising since she's known some of them since they were infants. But she was curious about the new school too, so she got on board after a few toddler tears. Fortunately, not too many questions were asked, because if she'd started that, I don't know what in the hell I'd have said. On the way over there she was telling me about one of the boys at school who was making fun of her because he thought it was funny that she didn't pray before lunch and snack. She said it made her cry because it made her sad when he laughed at her. Remind me to beat up on a 4 year old little punk ass kid, would you? Yeah, Aaron, I'm talking about you. That is EXACTLY what we were afraid would happen. At least the teacher stopped him and he got a time out, but he'll just blame L for that, I'm sure. That's the kind of crap that happens when you ostracize children, you know. Grrrrrrrrrr. We knew that there were up to 6 kids coming to this screening, and only 2 slots. I was very nervous when we got there, because although there were only 2 others who showed up for the screening besides Lauren, the boy is the sibling of a current student. I'd pretty much think that's an "in". The girl was his cousin, so I was sweating it. Of three kids, which would they lean toward keeping together? The screening for preschoolers and kindergarten kids is really just some play time with the teachers and the other kids. The teachers look for kids who seem to be ready, are able to follow instructions, etc. Both these kids had been home with their stay-at-home moms, so I thought L might have an advantage there, since she's used to a very structured school-like environment. Ha, starting in 1st grade there are actual admission tests. Yes, it's a fairly rigorous school, but that was good for me when I was coming up, and Lauren loves to learn, so we want to encourage that. But they do have a strong balance of fun too, as well as a strong emphasis on music, drama, art, etc. - all those curricula that are being cut in the public schools for the most part. Anyhoo, L and the other kids stayed with one of the teachers and an aide, and the moms went down the hall to another room with the other 4 year old teacher and the admissions director, going over the info packets, asking questions, etc. Lasted about half an hour. When we went back in to gather the kids, Lauren and the other girl were reading with the teacher. The boy was off on his own, ignoring the girls - actually he was just sitting in a chair by the door. Lauren was counting butterflies on that page of the book, and the teacher seemed impressed that she could count. She told me that L did really well, and seemed to have fun. L confirmed that account; she had a good time, she said, and really liked the teacher. We left, and headed to Starbucks for a celebratory chai latte (me) and cookie/chocolate milk combo (L). Just because it was over. Then we headed home, packed a quick picnic lunch, and went to a park to play and eat. L had a doctor's appointment at 1:30 today (possibly another UTI, grrrr), so there wasn't any point in taking her to school. While we were at home, I realized that I forgot to leave the check for the - meep, non-refundable - application fee. I called the admissions director to let her know I'd drop it off, and left her a message. We were at the park, eating and playing, when she called me back. She told me that I could just drop it in the mail if it wasn't convenient to drive it over. Or we could just include it in the contract when we mail it back, because Lauren was accepted!!!!! Yippeeeeee! The only downside is that the school term doesn't start until August 12th. We'd like to move her sooner, but we're going to ask the school if there's any way for her to join the current summer program. Pretty please with sugar on top, as my girl says. Good day, overall.
6/30/2004 07:30:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Tuesday, June 29, 2004
This was fun to read.
6/29/2004 08:37:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Life is depressing sometimes. Stick with me here for a minute. Sometimes it seems like nothing really good ever happens. The news is depressing. Life is full of stress and worry. I vent here, some of you vent online too. Some of you talk on the phone, or to your partner, friends, or family. Lately, it just feels like there's not been much that's positive to talk about. No joy to share, no triumphs to relive. And then . . . It takes a story like this to remind me that although the world is full of depressing news, good can be found. The silver lining to a very dark cloud, if you will. I needed that reminder.
6/29/2004 04:15:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


I love Wonkette. It's smart ass and highly hilarious. A bit of "inside" Washington jokes which sometimes go over my head, but it's still amusing. Recommended reading.
6/29/2004 11:06:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Monday, June 28, 2004
Got a shiny new gmail account. E-mail me to test it out, wouldja? Gotta run, The Daily Show is on.
6/28/2004 11:09:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


So we're back to being pissed off at the school. This afternoon when I went to pick up Lauren, I chatted with Ms. Tammy for a few minutes. She said that she felt awful that we were upset, and appeared to be upset herself. But then she said that she didn't have anything to do with this, it was all "her", meaning the lead teacher. Who, as you'll recall, couldn't be bothered to speak with us herself. She said she wanted to make sure that we knew she had nothing to do with the note on Lauren's cubby. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!! Danger!!! went ratcheting through my head. So I gathered up Lauren, picked up the papers on her cubby, and headed out the door. Once we got home, I looked at the note. See, I'm just barely smart enough not to get myself all riled up before I drive with my kiddo in the car. I was tempted though. Here's what the note says. There was a copy of a typed letter folded in half, with a handwritten note on the outside, all stapled together. Here's the note:
Mr. D. - here is the permission slip please return it so we can place it on Laurens file Miss Jenn
Here's what the inside said:
To: Preschool Parents From: Miss Jennifer Re: Prayer at School I encourage our children to be thankful for all the blessing they have in their lives. This is not done in any denomination. I want the children to be aware that others are not as fortunate as they are to have the many convenience they have. We give thanks at breakfast, lunch, and snack. This is not a forced routine, but if the child does not participate, he/she is asked to be quiet in respect of the others who do participate. I am asking that you indicate below whether you want your child to participate or not in this routine. I will abide by your decision. Thank you, Miss Jenn ........................................................................................................... I would like for my child to participate in the daily routine of thanking God before breakfast, lunch, and snack. Yes No Child's Name ______________________________________ Parent's Signature ________________________________
Now, let's consider for a moment that it's not possible to accomplish her mission here without coercion and discrimination toward the children who don't participate. And apparently Ms. Tammy sits with the children (apparently there's more than just Lauren who don't participate, this is news) who don't want to participate away from the rest of the group, from what she said to me this afternoon. How can people - misguided as they may be - who truly do love children not see that this type of ostracism cannot possibly be good for them? It's glaringly obvious to us. These are children, 3, 4, and 5 years old! I am beyond pissed. Hey, how about a third option rather than the mainstream yes or no? I'd like a checkbox for this: No, I don't want your particular brand of religion crammed down my child's throat, and I don't want her to be ostracized or to feel like she's being punished because her parents call bullshit. Didn't see that checkbox, though. We are requesting a meeting with the teachers and the director. If that doesn't stop this, the ACLU is probably our next stop. We're thinking she's going to have to leave Southern, one way or another. To that end, we are also going to tour a private, secular school here in town tomorrow. It is for kids from PreK - 8th grade, and two of the kids on our street go there and love it. It would cost more, but it's supposed to be a great school. Perhaps the teacher will be able to spell and use correct grammar (my, that was snarky, I must be pissed). Believe you me, we'll ask about any religious activities before we apply for Lauren. GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!
6/28/2004 08:49:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Boy, how do single parents do it? Mark was out of town Saturday and most of Sunday. He went down to Nashville with some friends to visit another friend who lives there. Even though Lauren was an angel (for the most part), I'm exhausted!!! Lauren and I did get a lot done, though. On Saturday, we went to the grocery, lunch, and four stores shopping for a birthday present for Mark. That fourth store was a mistake for a preschooler without a nap, though. My bad. On Sunday, Mom and Dad came up in the am. Dad and I went to pick up Mark's present - a nice grill - in their van and then we put it together. Lauren and I made a carrot cake for Mark, and after Mom and Dad left, Lauren had some quiet time while the cake cooled. I took advantage of that time to string rope lighting on our deck, and break in the grill. By the time Mark got home around 6:00, I had frosted the cake, put the chicken on the grill, and had side dishes in the works. She was so wired when he got home that she was literally running around us in circles, shouting "Daddy's home, Daddy's home, Daddy's home!!!!!" She helped me light the candles on the cake, and we sang happy birthday, poorly. It was a perfectly beautiful evening to enjoy out on our deck. Mark wanted to play with Lauren, so I took half an hour to take a nice bath in the spa tub. My back was killing me from so much lifting and work, and it felt much better after a nice soak. Today we're back to normal, or a close approximation. Mark took the day off, and is now on his way back from Louisville. I'm sure he'll geek out most of the day, while I work. I like geeking out better, but it is a workday, after all.
6/28/2004 10:38:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Friday, June 25, 2004
Aha, I found that clip of Jon Stewart demolishing Steven F. Hayes. Enjoy!
6/25/2004 10:15:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Go sign this petition. Yeah, I know, I was just saying I'm not religious, but this is a good idea.
6/25/2004 12:02:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Ha, I posted on LL's blog the other day that I'm a spelling nazi. But it seems I've been promoted . . . Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla Really, I'm more of a Grammar Goddess, but whatever.
6/25/2004 09:14:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Thursday, June 24, 2004
Now wait just a cotton-picking minute . . . Remember back several months ago, when MoveOn.org was having their ad contest, with the goal of having the winning ad shown during the SuperBowl? Remember how CBS refused to air it? Remember a bit earlier how there was a big uproar over a couple of the entries that were eliminated and removed from the contest because they referenced Hitler? Remember how the republicans screamed and fussed about it, filling up the Sunday talk shows with their righteous indignation? Remember all that? So can anyone explain this campaign ad, posted on the Bush-Cheney '04 site? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
6/24/2004 09:40:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Dammit, I'm pissed. Somebody PLEASE tell me if I'm off base here. We've recently discovered that in the Preschool Lauren attends, the teachers have the kids say grace before lunch & snack. We're not Christian. This is a problem. We discovered this because L wanted us to say grace before dinner, and we asked her where she learned it. See, that even sounds weird in a way, because it sounds like it's a bad thing to know. It's really not, it's just not our thing. Hooray for other people if they want to raise their kids in a religious environment, we just don't. And I don't particularly want issues of morality or faith being handled by anyone other than us. Especially without our knowledge or consent. The word brainwashing was bandied about my house today. Mark talked to the Director, who talked to the teacher. The Director didn't tell her to stop it, though, just that we were bothered by it. So this afternoon, Mark talked with one of the teachers, and even that bugged us. See, the lead teacher is Ms. Jenn. Ms. Tammy is the other teacher, and she has always adored Lauren. She was also her teacher in the 2 year old class, so we've known her a while. But Ms. Tammy only switched to the Preschool a couple of months ago, shortly before Lauren was transitioned in. From what she told Mark, Ms. Jenn was already doing the prayer thing before she got there, and she never really thought a parent would be bothered by it. So she was asked to talk with one of us to see if she could smooth things out (that's the shorthand version, anyway.) But I would think that if a parent has concerns, the lead teacher would call to set up a conference. Especially if she's the teacher who started this practice. This was not done in the nursery, 1 year old class, 2 year old class, or 3 year old class. So I was a little pissed that she didn't make the effort to talk to us, but instead had the second teacher deal with us, even though she'd only been in that class for a short time. Here's the thing(s). These kids don't know what they're saying, it might as well be Hickory Dickory Dock to them. There's that brainwashing thing again. We were not informed about this practice. Apparently the parents were asked in the Fall if anyone objected, and no one did. However, the parents of the kids (including L) who recently moved up to the Preschool as a group were not notified or asked. Another thing - there's at least one group of siblings in the nursery and 2 year old class who appear to be Indian. As in, Hindu, more than likely. What will happen when one of those kids reaches Preschool age? "Sorry, your religion isn't the correct one . . ."? This school receives funding through the Housing Authority and from grants. Federal, state, and local dollars. They are setting themselves up for a huge lawsuit, I would think. Not from us, that's not our style, but it's likely to happen at some point. Also, if we had wanted L to attend a religious school, there are plenty of them. We specifically wanted her in a secular environment, and we can take care of her faith as we see fit, thankyouverymuch. If we make a big deal about this, as I'm tempted to, will that have negative repercussions for Lauren? I will not tolerate that. But are we to let her mouth words we don't believe (in a setting where it shouldn't even be an issue), and try as best we can to handle her questions? Or should we pull her out of a familiar place that she loves and try to find another Preschool for her? And do what in the meantime? Dammit, we should not be put in this position! So, really, am I off base here?
6/23/2004 09:57:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Oh, this is too funny! Backstory - apparently, back in March the Bush Cheney '04 website offered a tool to make your own posters, all with Bush-Cheney '04 on them and whatever text you wanted at the top. Why oh why didn't they see that this tool would be relentlessly mocked and used for purposes they weren't planning? I wish I'd seen it at the time, and yes, I know I'm about 4 months late with this. But I just heard about it, so there. Read this, and/or click here to view a slideshow of some of the posters that were created. It's a Flash presentation, and it takes a while to load, but it's too hilarious.
6/23/2004 04:22:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I can't stop laughing at this Daily Show clip. Literally, tears running down my face . . . I need a clip from last night, though. Jon Stewart absolutely demolished the idiot guest (can't think of his name right now). He actually seemed to be pissed off at the guy. That's unusual. Ah, it came to me. Stephen F. Hayes, from the Weekly Standard. Idiot.
6/22/2004 08:22:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink



This is where my daughter is today. Her preschool is taking a field trip. Mark went with her, otherwise we wouldn't have let her go - it's just too far. Several of the parents weren't sending their kids because they couldn't take off work. It looks like a cool place, but it is more than 2 hours away from here, so I can understand their concerns. Like I said, L wouldn't have been going if Mark hadn't been able to get a day off. But I hope she has a blast . . .
6/22/2004 12:33:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Monday, June 21, 2004
Cool story and amazing photo here . . . We had a very busy weekend. I went shopping Friday evening back in civilization, and found that it is actually possible to miss Hamburg traffic! Ha, funny story. When Lauren got home from school on Friday I was talking to her about Father's Day on Sunday, and that I needed to go out for a while to get a present for Daddy. I asked her what she thought we ought to get such a great daddy. She looked at me intently, puzzled for a moment over the question, and then her little face lit up. Her answer? "Maybe some new underwear!!! Or some new shoes!" I thought I was going to fall out of the chair, I was laughing so hard. Saturday was shopping in Lex with Mark while Mom and Dad watched Lauren for us. We ordered a chair for our room - we're putting it in a corner of the bedroom as a little reading nook for me. That's not a truly accurate picture of how cool this chair looks, and it's very comfortable. It doesn't look like a recliner, does it? It's covered in a microfiber that feels like suede but is easy-care. That's important with cats and preschoolers running the house! Sunday we got up early and went to the lake, had a blast as usual. We gave Mark his presents and card, which included, of course, new underwear. Lauren's response? "Mommy, you forgot to buy him new shoes!" Now back to work . . .
6/21/2004 03:07:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Friday, June 18, 2004
This might be the funniest thing I've read in a long time, particularly on the heels of Hesiod shutting down CounterSpin Central . . .
6/18/2004 03:46:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


What a terrific idea to provide soldiers who are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan Gmail (with 1 GIG of free storage space, which is more than enough for pictures, movies, and sound files). What a great way for them to keep in touch with family back home, and actually see the faces and hear the voices of their loved ones. I don't have Gmail myself, but I will happily spread the word about this project. If you have Gmail, or if you know anyone who might, feel free to pass this info on to them. Post it on your blog, send an e-mail to your friends and family, particularly any geeks you know. 'Cause I know that many of you haven't ever heard of Gmail, but trust me, computer geeks will know about it.
6/18/2004 08:27:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Thursday, June 17, 2004
This looks fairly amusing. The 2004 World Stupidity Awards. Must. Go. Vote.
6/17/2004 03:27:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Oh, this seems like a really cool tool. I found this on Boing Boing. My favorites list is an absolute mess. I'm going to play around with this shiny new gadget. And as much as I like the convenience of Blogrolling, my big problem with using it is that I can't categorize any of the links on here. I'd like to split the links up a bit, but I don't want to get into CSS just for that. OK, I know that won't make sense to some of you, so just ignore that. I'll have some fun with this . . . By the way, if you'd like to try HLOM yourself, best hurry. Here's what they say about how long this beta will be available:
We've just opened HLOM up to a limited public beta. It's limited in the sense that it will be open for anyone to sign-up for a finite, but annoyingly indeterminate, period. We will stop accepting new sign-ups as and when the load gets too great for our server to bear (existing accounts will remain live; see HLOM Future for more).

6/17/2004 09:09:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Wednesday, June 16, 2004
This is an evil little game. Highly addictive, fair warning. Don't say I didn't warn you.
6/16/2004 06:07:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Go click on these links every day, and visit their sponsors too. Snopes says it's legit. I had a great lunch today. I met a favorite former teacher of mine and his wife at one of my favorite restaurants. They live in Frankfort now also, and we had a good time visiting. I hadn't seen him in . . . (drumroll, please) 17 years. He hadn't changed much at all. His wife was really nice too. Mark wasn't able to come, but then he turned up to pick up his lunch to-go. Pure coincidence, since he didn't know where we were going to lunch - maybe not, though, since it's his favorite restaurant too. Hopefully we'll all meet again for lunch soon. Mr. Roberts was my social studies/history teacher in high school, and was always a lot of fun, when he wasn't throwing erasers at sleeping students or dropping books on their desk. (No, not me. I was a good student.) Plus I learned an awful lot from him, and he deserves a lot of credit, along with my other teachers, for teaching us how to learn and enjoy it. I also know that Mark would love to bend his ear, because my dear husband is a history geek, as well as a technology geek. Now, bad weather is coming through, so I'm shutting down my 'puter before it crashes. The lights are already flickering. Stay dry!
6/16/2004 04:10:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Interesting political poll here at Mother Jones. I got this from Tapped.
6/16/2004 10:32:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Really cool pic I took last night outside our house. With my snazzy phone. Pretty cool, eh?
6/15/2004 08:45:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Well, I guess my interview didn't go as well as I thought, since I didn't get a second interview. No, actually, it did go really well. I suppose they wanted someone who had worked in a school setting, that's my guess. At least it makes me feel better, anyway. On the plus side, there were a couple of jobs in the Sunday paper that I'm going to apply for (there's that poor grammar again). Also, I got an e-mail over the weekend from the alumni group of my college sorority. They were asking if anyone would be willing to serve on the Board of Directors for the Frankfort CASA chapter. CASA is the sorority's philanthropy, and I thought it would be interesting. So I met the Executive Director this morning for coffee, and we hit it off. I'm going to serve on the board, and possibly do more as a volunteer. This is good. I've been missing having a more direct impact on families & children in need, so maybe this will help me do something positive. I couldn't go back to social work on the front lines at this point in my life. Too much stress, too many crazy hours, too much of everything. I don't need ulcers again. But I want to do something. Maybe this is what I need to be doing right now. We shall see. Lauren was so sweet last night. I wasn't feeling well, I had an awful headache - kind of sinusy. That's a new word, don'tcha know. So after supper, I went to our room to lay down for a bit, and actually fell asleep. When Lauren was getting ready for her bath, she snuck in to our room. She started stroking my face and hair, saying "Aww, Mama, it's ok, you're going to feel better soon." Then she gave me some really gentle little kisses on my cheek, climbed up on the bed, and covered me up with a throw. One more kiss and a hug, and then she climbed down and went off to her bath. Talk about a great way to wake up, and a sure-fire cure for what ails you. I love that child more than air.
6/15/2004 09:51:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Thursday, June 10, 2004
In case you ever wondered if the current resident of the White House is a lying sack of shit, the answer is yes.
6/10/2004 10:22:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


R.I.P., Ray.
6/10/2004 03:54:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Via Atrios, an absolutely hilarious clip from The Daily Show. I simply love that show, and I missed this bit. I didn't download the software to view it, but I was able to hear it in Windows Media Player. I could just picture Jon Stewart's expressions. It was almost funnier that way.
6/10/2004 10:07:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Digby hits it on the head. The topic is the torture memo (pdf), and how it came to be. Here's my favorite section of Digby's post: What was the process by which they came to these dry legalistic definition of when, how and where one is allowed to inflict terrible pain as long as it doesn't reach the level of intensity that would accompany serious physical injury or organ failure? Did they discuss this around a conference table over a take-out Chinese dinner? Did they all nod their heads and take notes and write memos and have conference calls and send e-mails on the subject of what exactly the definition of "severe pain" is? Did they take their kid to school on the way to the meeting in which they finalized a report that says the president of the United States has the unlimited authority to order the torture of anyone he wants? Did they tell jokes on the way out? These nice people with nice backrounds and nice jobs spent weeks contemplating how to legally torture human beings. Then they went home and watched television and ate dinner and went to bed and made love to their wife or husband and got up and did it again because it was their job and their duty to find ways to legally justify it . . . It's a cliche, but seriously, how do these people sleep at night? How do they do this? Why didn't one person stand up and say "Wait a minute". Did they ever think of the real people who would be harmed by their words on a page? Did they even care? At all? Just a little bit? Perhaps not. Digby's beautiful ending graf: These people who set about legalizing inhumane behavior on behalf of a president on whom they confer absolute power to order it at will are as shallow and evil as the cliché spouting president who demanded it. The slippery slope to totalitarianism started in a conference room where coffee and donuts and microsoft power point presentations on torture and pain were on the agenda one morning.
6/10/2004 09:25:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Do you like Survivor? Do you dislike the GOP? Perfect marriage of the two ideas, right here. Although I've never seen Survivor (not a big fan of reality tv in general, actually can't think of any reality show I've ever seen), this is a riot. I mentioned it a few weeks ago here, but it's even funnier now that it's up and running.
6/09/2004 01:00:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Wow.
6/09/2004 12:41:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


What an interesting site this is. I'm going to poke around there later on tonight. No news on the job interview. I'm losing hope - the 2nd interviews will be held Monday, and if I don't hear from them today I'll have to believe that I'm not getting to the next round. Dammit. And I felt really good about my chances, too.
6/09/2004 09:33:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Bwah ha ha ha ha! I want some . . .
6/08/2004 10:11:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Monday, June 07, 2004
I suppose I ought to say something about Ronald Reagan. I was neither a huge fan, nor a huge detractor. I guess the only thing I thought about him during his time as President was that he wasn't as great as I kept hearing, and I didn't like a lot of the things he did. I never could stand Nancy Reagan, though. If I could write as well as others, I'd write something like this. Yep, that sums up my feelings about his passing pretty well.
6/07/2004 04:44:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


I have a new favorite quote, from Maya Angelou: If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. As most of you know, I don't like my work situation for a variety of reasons. It has its benefits, definitely. Working at home is one of them, without any eyes peering over my shoulder. I'm able to function fairly autonomously, and working at home actually has allowed me to work more effectively. Sure, I goof around a little bit (posting here during the day, for example), but I get a lot done. However, I have strong negative feelings about EKU, and I am very much underutilized currently. I'm almost entirely out of the loop in terms of changes occurring in the office. Plus the concept of having to commute to Richmond twice a week is annoying as hell. I still haven't complied with that; my boss will be getting on me soon. So to follow my new favorite quote, I'm trying to change it. I'm not having much luck changing my attitude, although I can hide it because it's necessary to do that. My interview Friday went really well, I think. It's kind of hard for me to tell, because I haven't interviewed in many, many years. I was nervous. It started out poorly from my pov, because the first question I was asked was something like: "In your opinion, what are the most critical issues in the area of school safety?" Hell, I don't know. I basically said that classroom management and a structure to support troubled kids could go a long way toward preventing problems from escalating. And that I have a lot to learn about school safety. I told them that I could have crammed for this interview and tried to fake knowledge about the subject, but that's not my style. I said that I didn't know very much about school safety, but looked forward to learning about it. They actually liked my answer, I think. See, it was hard too, because out of the three people on the interview team, I knew two of them pretty well. One could be my new boss, and the other one I knew because I replaced her when I came to EKU 6 1/2 years ago, she trained me, and we've worked together occasionally since then. The other lady was from the Department of Education. But knowing the interviewers makes it tougher, in a way - it all felt a little formal and stilted, not how I'd normally talk to them. But we were all being professional. So the interview is going along, I'm getting my feet under me, and then I get a tough question. One of the interviewers said: "I'm going to ask you a question that we took out of our list, but I would like to hear your answer. How would you define a crisis?" I thought about it for a second, and literally thought: "What the hell, I'll tell them my real opinion." Here's the thing, and this was basically my answer: Having been a social worker, dealing with life and death issues on a daily basis . . . it changes your worldview in some permanent ways. A crisis is a child who's being hurt, or is hurting others. A crisis is life and death, it's real. Paperwork is not a crisis. Behind the scenes work is not a crisis, although it is critically important and has to be done well. Hard work and planning can help prevent a crisis, but it could never be a crisis in and of itself. In terms of school safety, a school shooting is a crisis, and little else would qualify. I guess they liked my answer. This was about 2/3 of the way through their list of questions, and all three of them immediately put down their folders and note paper. The lady from the Department of Ed actually said "That was the perfect answer. I don't need to ask any more questions." Of course, with me being a smart ass and all, I said "Oh, good. My next answer might be awful, let's stop here." When we all stopped laughing, I said I was only kidding, and would be happy to discuss any further questions they had, blah blah blah. But no, they really were done. I asked them a couple of good questions, and we were done. The next step is that there will be a second round of interviews with two head honchos on June 14th, and the decision will be made that day. The position starts July 1, which doesn't leave too much time to give notice. Keep your fingers crossed that I'm one of the top 2 candidates. I think, at least. I'm being a bit contrary, I know, because I desperately want a new job. But this position has more travel than I realized. I tried to get some clarification on that from Kerri, but it still wasn't clear to me how much travel is involved. I don't want to get into a situation where I'm away from home too much. Some travel is ok, but not constantly being on the road, not with Lauren. So if I get a call that I'm getting a second interview, I'll talk to Kerri about that further before I commit to an interview. I don't want to waste their time, and I'm trying to figure out in my mind how much travel is too much. It's hard to quantify, but I think I'll know it when I see it. The rest of the weekend was a blur of playing, and we spent the day at the lake yesterday, had a blast. Hope you all have a good day.
6/07/2004 09:06:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Thursday, June 03, 2004
Don't forget to go vote for your favorite t-shirt designs!
6/03/2004 07:33:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Here's a quick version of Mark. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close! I wonder if I can do one of Lauren???
6/03/2004 05:09:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


I'm shamelessly stealing from Lori-Lyn again. What do you think? Does this look like anyone you know? Hint, hint . . . Now go have fun yourself!
6/03/2004 03:05:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Check out this article from Fark. Hilarious. I'll have to go check this place out.
6/02/2004 09:28:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Sometimes I think my husband is insane. A little while ago, we were on the upstairs deck eating supper (bbq chicken, corn on the cob, macaroni & cheese, and chocolate-butterscotch brownies, in case you care. OK, really I just wanted to link to that brownie recipe). Anyway, during supper Lauren kept seeing birds and rabbits down by the creek, and wanted to go look for a turtle we saw this morning. She's been getting into the classic stories lately, like Jack & the Beanstalk, Henny Penny, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Remember that last one? Three goats want to cross a bridge, and the troll underneath wants to eat them. They outsmart him and throw him off the bridge. Children's stories are so pleasant, aren't they? So here's Mark, goofing around, and he starts asking L if she thinks there's a troll under our bridge. He was oblivious to my dark looks and ever-so-slight kick to his ankle. He just would not drop it. So now, what a surprise, Lauren doesn't want to cross the bridge because she is convinced that a troll lives there. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! On the upside, she's enjoying Preschool, I think. It's pulling teeth to get her to tell us what she did during the day. We get "I don't know" and "I don't 'member" a lot. Some of that is just because she's three, and part of it is that she just doesn't really want to tell us. Who knew that started so early? Along with the occasional angry slamming of doors, the rare but still painful "I hate you!", and my personal fave, "Mom, give me some money!" Who knew?
6/02/2004 07:57:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


Tuesday, June 01, 2004
You know, I haven't updated you all on the latest happenings too much in recent days. Things are holding steady. Scott has had a couple of job interviews, and we all have our fingers crossed that they'll be able to stay in this area. He's also doing some freelance grantwriting work, which helps. They sold their house this weekend (huge relief), and are looking for a rental in Lexington. Dad's doing great - he hardly needs his cane at all. He was very worried that his summer would be ruined this year, and that he wouldn't be able to spend much time at the lake because of the steps both inside the condo and to get to the dock. But he's having no trouble with steps, and is recovering much more quickly than any of us anticipated. I'm trying to figure out a good time to go crash at Carol Ann's so that we can take L to the zoo. I think the wee one will love that. Plus Carol is evil and told L to tell us every day that she wants to go to the zoo. She remembers to do that about half the time. Thanks, CA. But next weekend we have tickets to an ice skating show, then the next weekend we have a birthday party for one of Lauren's chums, possibly my nephew's birthday party, and we would like to go to the BBQ, Blues & Blush Summer Wine Release Concert at Equus Run. After that, I don't know. As for me, my interview is this Friday, and I haven't found much else to apply for. That's poor grammar, I know, but I'm too lazy to fix it. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, but I lack relevant choices at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed on Friday at 2:30, would you? Outside of job hunting issues, life is good. We bought a new coffee table recently, and it was delivered last week. I'm still looking for a cool occasional chair for the bedroom, but we haven't found one that we both like that isn't ridiculously expensive. There was one I really liked that was on the lower end of the scale, but Mark didn't like it at all. Mark's cell phone has been crashing intermittently for months, and it's just about quit working entirely. Both our phones are several years old, and there are lots of cool new gadgets available out there. So we are buying jazzy new cell phones for both of us, switching to a new carrier, getting a family plan, and all that. Mark will switch to a Frankfort number, and I am keeping my Lexington number since many of my calls come from there. Hooray for number portability! Btw, if you are looking to do something similar, I'd recommend Amazon for that. The same phones that we're getting for free (after rebate) would have cost more than $500.00 at the T-Mobile store. I'll take free over that, any day. Mark is getting this one, and I'm getting this one. There's not a picture of mine on Amazon, sorry to say, but it's a brand new model, according to the chick at the T-Mobile store. We were busy all weekend, and had loads of fun with the child, excepting the tornado warnings, of course. After all the storms in the last few days, it's really nice that today is so beautiful - sunny and temperate. I have the windows open and life is looking pretty good. I'm still stunned that my child started Preschool today, though.
6/01/2004 02:22:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink


My baby is starting Preschool today. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, when did that happen? When did my little baby become a kid, old enough for this? We've been talking to the school a bit, because from our perspective, the Preschool wasn't significantly different than the day care, in terms of structure, educational components, etc. Actually, we were wrong about that. We were given a packet of information about the Preschool, with their daily activities, curricula, outside activities, like the music enrichment program they attend three mornings a week at K State. How do they transport the kids without their own booster seats? Should Mark have left ours there? I know he wouldn't have thought of it unless a teacher asked him to do that. I hope the van is safe. The Preschool looks the same at drop-off and pick-up times, but during the day appears to be more educational. Let's hope. I'd hate to have to pull her from there, since she's attended the day care since she was three months old, loves her friends, and loves her teachers. But I want her to learn, and she is ready, I think. It's hard to tell. I hope this is right for her. She's only three and a half, and she'll be in with 5 year olds. Is there too much age difference? Even though she's big for her age, she's still going to be the youngest kid in there. And the only girl. She said she is going to miss Valorie and Allie, but not Lexi. How will she react to being the only girl? Will her teacher ignore her in order to manage the boys' sometimes rambunctious behavior? Or will she spoil her? Or somewhere in between? I can't think about this anymore. Now, aren't you sorry that you wondered what I was thinking about today? Let that be a lesson to you.
6/01/2004 08:36:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink