Friday, August 24, 2007

Bad News

We had a tragic death in our family today. We'll be doing a bit of travelling to attend the funeral in the upcoming week. Aside from the RIP post that I had saved for tomorrow but am posting today instead, updates will be made when I get back.

C, the girls, and I are in shock but okay.

Take care and I'll post when I post.

R.I.P. Reading Challenge

I have decided to take on a reading challenge. I think I will be able to fit it in since it is two months long. I can read 4 books in as many days under normal circumstances. A full course load might provide an additional challenge, but what the hay.
This challenge is provided by Stainless Steel Droppings. I found it from reading some fellow book bloggers' blogs and it sounded fun and interesting. The following outlines the rules which can be found at the afore mentioned website along with a more detailed description of the challenge and the books one might choose for the challenge:

Peril the First:
Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

Peril the Second (Otherwise known as the Obese Book Peril):
As you may know, some books are scary not just because of their subject matter but because of their size. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke is 737 pages of small type, for example, and Gordon Dahlquist’s Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is 637 pages long with type so miniscule it makes Strange’s look like large print!
For this peril simply read two weighty tomes during the challenge period.

Peril the Third:
If you think you have it in you, this third choice of perils is the Scary Sandwich Peril…choose two large books like those described in Peril the Second and read a smaller qualifying tale in between.

Peril the Fourth (Otherwise known as Just a Bit of Peril):
Some of you wonderful readers, or would-be readers, may have a tendency to shy away from this genre, thinking it is just not your cup of poisoned tea. However, it wouldn’t be a challenge if I wasn’t challenging you.
This peril is for those of you who want to take a chance. Simply choose one book that you feel meets the criteria for Readers Imbibing Peril II and, well, imbibe it!

Additional Perils:
For those of you who have never done so, or want those who want to do so again, choose one or more of the following books to read after you have completed your other peril of choice:

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
2. A collection of tales by Edgar Allan Poe
3. The Mystery of the Sea by Bram Stoker
4. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

I'm, of course, going to choose Peril the First and for that peril I choose to read:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wild
Lisey's Story by Stephen King
Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

For the Additional Perils I choose:

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

I reserve the right to add to this list during the challenge period but will, at the very least, read the books I have listed. I'm not sure if Artemis Fowl, Stardust, and Wicked qualify for the challenge of not.

It would be really great and I would really love it if some of my readers would join me for this challenge. It’s perfect for the season and who doesn’t love a good book to make them jump at small noises in the night? If you do decide to accept the R.I.P challenge, be sure and leave me a comment so that I know.

Book Stuff

I ordered some books from Barnes and Noble to catch up on my summer reading. They should be here today and I'm very excited. I LOVE getting new books. While I was waiting, I picked up Wicked again by Gregory Maguire. It's the story of the Wicked Witch of the West just in case you live in a cave and haven't heard of the book and/or the Broadway musical based on the book. I tried reading it a couple years ago and didn't get out of the first chapter. After hearing rave reviews from actual people and not just critics, I decided to try it again and I'm actually enjoying it this time around. I have to wonder what L. Frank Baum would have thought about Maguire's work.

My book list from B&N:

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Other books I'm reading this summer:

The Reagan Diaries
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Ahhh. It's nice to have time to read again. When I read non-school books during the semester, I feel guilty.

It's Friday

I just finished interviewing a guy to take care of our lawn. I interviewed another one yesterday. Lawn care is such a scam, but we're lazy about keeping up with it. You could lose small children and animals in our yard right now. It's a mess. C and I are often at odds about the yard which is another reason I'm hiring someone to do it. He says he doesn't always have the opportunity to do it (read that to mean that he doesn't feel like doing it on the weekends or after work) and why don't I get out there and do it. I say I do everything else inside the house, I take care of the dogs' needs, the girls' needs, and car needs, so he can do the yard (read that to say bitch, bitch, bitch, nag, nag, nag). See what I'm saying? So, this is a solution we can both live with.

In other matters, C has decided to sell his bike. I have such mixed feelings about it. We're going to use the money to beef up our investment accounts because of the whole Vermont house, inconsistent rent payments deal. But at the same time, this means we'll only have one vehicle and I HATE that. It makes me feel like a child. I always have to make elaborate plans in order to have the car and it's a pain. (Bitch, bitch, whine) To give you an idea on why he can part with it so easily...He bought it new in 2004. He rode it a handful of times while we lived in VT because of his work schedule, the weather, and the fact that he didn't have a motorcycle endorsement on his license. As a result, it only has 1600 miles on it. Whichever guy at work that he's selling it to is getting a practically brand new bike and we can sell it for more than it's average resale value. Blah.

And I'm freaking tired. Recently, I've been staying up until around 2 am and getting up with C in the morning. This means I'm getting about 3 1/2 hours of sleep a night. At least it'll make getting up with the girls in the morning when school starts on Monday easier.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Meme

Here's our Thursday Meme courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My parents have been divorced since the dark ages (read that to be that I don't remember them being married) and I lived with my mom until the age of 12. She was an avid reader when I was little. Nowadays, not so much. However, my dad reads a lot too. I'm not really sure who influenced my love of reading more, but I would probably say my parents had an equal share. My mom introduced me to Stephen King and my dad introduced me to Michael Shaara and we both love Harry Potter. The rest of the authors that I love, I found myself along the way. I'm pretty sure my brother likes to read too and I know my sister does when she can find the time. I don't think any of them read like I do though. When it comes to discussing books, my dad would come in first and my sister second. Sometimes I'll call my dad just to tell him about a book that I've just read because I know he'll be able to discuss the topic even if he hasn't read the book. And my sister and I both love J.D. Robb's In Death series. Since she's on #5 (I think) and I've read all the one's that have been published to date, I have to be careful not to give anything away to her so we don't discuss them very often.

OH! OH! My aunt Carla loves to read. I almost forgot about her. I remember going to her house as a teenager and borrowing her romances from shelves completely overflowing of books. When I see my shelves shoved full to exploding with my books, I always think about her, lol. I suppose that would be my "family oriented" memory of books. I don't really have any others.

What's really sad to me is that neither one of my girls seem to like to read for fun. They're young, so maybe it'll come eventually, but I don't see any signs of it yet. The one thing from me that I wanted my girls to inherit is my love of reading. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drawing a Blank

I have nothing to say today. I've been completely obsessed with my renter dilemma, playing The Sims 2 (I just got Seasons and Pets as a reward for finishing the semester, heheh), and being a slug. All of that makes the pool of interesting topics very shallow. It might even be suffering a drought. At least I'll have the Thursday Meme tomorrow and I won't have to worry about figuring out what to say on my own. :/

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Workplace Hangout

This is a topic I've had in the back of my mind for about six months now. Basically, since C has gotten into the swing of things at his new office.

Is a person's office, shop, cubicle, or what have you a place to hang out? Is it proper for spouses to just drop by because they were in the area?

C's Marines have been catching flack because their significant others like to walk into the shop like they own the place even though much of it is dangerous due to the nature of the work being done there. It's one thing to stop by to pick your spouse up for lunch or in an emergency type of situation but it's another to stop by to shoot the shite. Know what I'm saying? I don't even call C at work unless it's urgent. I may text him from time to time, however, but I consider that to be unobtrusive and can be ignored if necessary. Maybe I'm just making excuses for myself though.

My new friend wanted to stop by the shop because her husband is going to be working there too so she wanted to see what it was like and to meet everyone. I told her that I don't do that and she looked at me like I had grown three heads. I've always thought that this is unprofessional but since C has been a Marine for forever, I don't really have much to compare it to. Is this sort of thing acceptable in a "normal" job? I've always gotten the impression that it's more acceptable in the Marine Corps than it would be in the real world.

And if any of my military wife reader's do this and think I'm being bitchy or singling them out, I'm not and I had no idea that you do that and think it's nifty. This is just my opinion.

And the Saga Continues

JMT's rent check finally arrived via FedEx overnight priority mail, heheh. It didn't include any late fees however. Wanna know why? Because she feels that she doesn't owe a late fee because according to her bank, I never attempted to cash it. Welllllll, I have a letter and copies of the check verifying the dates that I tried to deposit it and the reason it was returned. This has resulted in me sending a not-so-nice e-mail with the evidence attached to her. I think she has a lot of nerve trying to say she doesn't owe a late fee. Whatta bitch.

Someone get me a straight jacket, some happy pills, and a padded room. Please.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tag! I'm It!

Sherry from A Result of Destiny tagged me over the weekend. My in-laws left bright and early this morning so I now have time to take care of it. And we all know how I can't resist a survey.

Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life:
1. I worked at Sears in their photo studio. Working with other people's brats is not my idea of fun.
2. GTE. Well, you young'ins might know it as Verizon, but when I worked there it was still GTE. I hated that job too. I was a billing rep so I had to listen to people yell at me over why they couldn't pay their phone bills. Fun times.
3. My very first job while I was still in high school was a seasonal mall gig. I sold sweatshirts at a kiosk, lol. Funnily enough, I found out years later that C had been scoping me out there before I even knew he existed.
4. SAHM. It's what I do now and what I have done for 11 years. People tell me that my kids are well-behaved so I guess I do an okay job at it.

Four countries I have been to:
1. Mexico. Tijuana, Tecate, and Ensenada to be exact.
2. South Canada, aka, Vermont. Believe me, it was another country. Another planet if you want to get technical.
3. Does the Bahamas count as another country?
4. I need to travel more.

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. The beach.
2. The beach.
3. The beach.
4. The beach.

Four foods I like to eat:
1. Mexican. We discovered an awesome Mexican restaurant over the weekend. Yum!
2. Apple pie.
3. Fresh fruit of any variety.
4. Seafood, especially shrimp, scallops, and crab legs.

Four personal heroes, past or present:
I don't have heroes. I have people that I admire for their intelligence and accomplishments but I don't consider them heroes.

Four books you've just read or are currently reading.
1. Harry Potter 7
2. The Reagan Diaries
3. 12 Sharp
Lean Mean 13

*New Question* Riddle me this:
What are your top 4 pet peeves?
1. Slow drivers
2. Lying.
3. People who constantly ask for advice but never listen to it.
4. When someone doesn't know when to call it quits.

Due to rule changing somewhere along the line, here's where you are suppose to add your own new question.

Tag, you're it!
4. I don't know any other regular readers who blog too, lol. Feel free to add yourself.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fact or Fiction?

I finally got a call from JMT last night. Actually, she had her fiance call me. According to them, they had no idea that their check bounced. And, they've been in Boston all week so that's why she hasn't been returning my calls or picking up her mail. Here's the situation broken down:

  • Wednesday, she got a call from the police saying her 9 year old daughter had been sexually assaulted at summer camp. This is why she's in Boston. Who would make up that kind of story?
  • She said she had her calls forwarded to her in MA because she's working remotely for her company. If this is true, why is she saying that she didn't know I was trying to get a hold of her for FIVE days when I've left messages at both her home and her work?
  • She said that her fiance's parents arrived at her home to check on her dog and the house Thursday night. That's why her phone was off the hook because she's been getting phone calls about her daughter. And that's how she found out that I had been trying to contact her, because they checked her messages. (Hear sarcasm and see my eyebrow raised in disbelief.)
  • She says that according to her bank, it looks like I never even tried to cash her check. According to my bank, the check was rejected on her end, not mine. They're sending me a statement to that effect.
  • She forwarded me an e-mail from her bank that says the check never came in to them.
  • She's overnighting me a money order today that should get here by Monday.

What do I do now? I'm still inclined to boot her out. After 7 months of inconsistent rent payments, I'm seeing a pattern. How understanding am I supposed to be? I just don't know. It's hard to imagine someone would fabricate a story about their child just to have an excuse for not paying your rent. A more feasible story would be: 1.) I didn't get paid on time. 2.) My car broke down and I had to pay for repairs. You know? Stuff like that. But there are so many inconsistencies in the rest of her story that I'm having a hard time believing that they weren't aware that their check had bounced.

I'm sort of at a "wait and see" point. If we evict her and the house doesn't sell right away, C and I will be in a financial bind of significant proportions. But if she continues to live there and doesn't pay her rent, we still have to pay the mortgage and our rent anyway. I was also told by the lawyer I spoke to that Vermont judges aren't inclined to evict people when winter is right around the corner. When I get her money order, I technically don't have a legal reason to evict her and she could fight it and would probably win. Houses sell faster in the spring anyway, lol. I don't think there's a viable solution to this at all.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Much to Tell

I'm home from my exams. They weren't nearly as bad as I thought they would be. My English exam was looooong but not hard. I had to write a poem, an intro for a creative nonfiction piece, and a short story in addition to regular exam-type questions. It was a LOT of writing.

For my Mythology exam, it was long also in content but the last 12 questions were definition which were easy peezy.

My business exam was crazy. My instructor is out of her flipping gourd. I got all the answers correct as far as the technical part of it went, but then she wanted examples of out the book, examples from real life that were less than 3 years old and she wanted me to map the chapters that the questions were from. It was ridiculous. AND the stupid thing was only 4 questions long, 10 points a piece, and 25% of my grade. I hope to hell I never get her for another class.

But, it's done and I'm glad to have one less thing on my plate.

As for the house deal in Vermont, JMT isn't taking my calls. She's not answering my e-mails. She's not answering her voicemail. And, she's taken to taking her phone off the hook at night. How ridiculous is that?? It's not as if I can jump through the phone and strangle her. I just want to talk for pete's sake and figure out what the freak is going on. And, of course, to ask where the hell my money is at. It looks as if I'm going to have to involve the sheriff after all which I was trying to avoid doing.

And, lastly...My mother-in-law and her husband arrived last night for a visit from Ohio. They took the girls out somewhere so I have the house to myself for a bit. It's nice. Peaceful and quiet. I was also able to have lunch with C after my exams which isn't something we've done since Vermont. Lunch on his lunch hour from work that is. Not have lunch altogether. Heheh.

Now, I'm off to take a nap. I didn't get to sleep until late and I got up with C this morning because I couldn't sleep. I'm beat.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Meme

Courtesy of Booking Through Thursday

One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?
(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

This is a funny topic for me. I always make fun of my hubby because at any given time, he's in the middle of 4 or 5 books and I just don't see how he does it. I have book loyalty; I only read one at a time. It's mostly because once I start a book and I really like it, I can't put it down and read it in a day or two anyway. The only exception to this that I can think of is The Reagan Diaries. I've been reading that one off and on since June but it's really easy to do so since it's a diary.

Personally, from my own observations, people that read more than one book at a time do so because they're not really into any of them so it's easy to bounce around or they have a specific purpose for doing so. JMO though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Considerably Calmer *Update*

But no less panicked and pissed off. I feel better now that we have a plan of attack concerning JMT, our renter. What sucks is that I have to follow Vermont's laws or she would already be out on her ass. Step 1: Mail a certified letter to pay or quit. By Vermont law, I have to give her 14 business days to pay her late rent and all the fees. She's now into us for almost $1500 if you were wondering. Step 2: At the end of the 14 days, regardless of whether or not she sends us the money she owes, I'm mailing out another certified letter which will contain an eviction notice. She has yet to sign a new lease since hers was up July 31st so she's only living in my house on a month to month basis. The next step depends on whether or not she pays us the money she owes, but if she doesn't, Step 3 will be to notify the police that she's passing bad checks which, in the state of Vermont, is a felony offense because they're for over $500, punishable with up to a year in jail, and a $1000 fine. Step 4: List the house for sale and hope for the best. This whole thing has the potential to ruin us financially but what else can we do? I had the worst night's sleep last night that I've had in over 7 months. My hands and feet are swollen which means my blood pressure is high again. And I can't eat which is the only good thing about this. I've been running up my cell minutes trying to reach her and various other people. She had her cell phone disconnected and won't return my calls when I leave messages on her home phone. Big shocker there. She has one certified letter that's been sitting at her post office for 5 days now (we've been having other problems with her for the past 4 months that I didn't want to post about) and another one on the way. I've tried reaching her at work, but I only get her voicemail. I've also been in touch with the rental management company and they're sending me all the background info they gathered on her. I also called a realtor to discuss the housing market in Vermont and the possibility of listing the house. The timing couldn't be worse. Why couldn't her check have bounced on Friday when I wouldn't have found it until after my exams??? This is such a nightmare.

Well, I'm off to the post office to make yet another futile attempt to contact her. Wish me luck.


So, I mailed the notice for all the good it'll do me. The first certified letter I sent her, I mailed on 8/7 and it's still sitting in the post office in Vermont. I also talked to a lawyer to make sure that I'm doing all of this correctly and I am. Of course. However, it turns out the the Pay or Quit notice I sent today serves as an eviction notice so all she has is 14 days from receiving the letter to pay or vacate. Receive being the operative word here. Is she refuses to pick up the letters, she hasn't received notice. Legally. My lawyer suggested that I call the sheriff's office and have her served. Are you all believing this? I have to have somebody served and it's not even divorce papers, lol. If this ends up in court, I hope I can get all my post office fees, serving fees, and all other freaking money back. This legal business don't come cheap.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad Day

I'm trying to study, right? Well, my sister-in-law calls so I take a break to chat. While chatting, I decided to balance my check book. I log onto my bank account and there is a weird amount of money in my checking account. WHY?!?!?!?! Because my freaking, inconsiderate, idiot, moronic, untrustworthy, freaking, bitch of a tenant bounced her rent check!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHHHH!!!! I'm so freaking mad right now that I'm literally shaking. I'm also in the middle of typing up an eviction freaking notice. I HATE PEOPLE!!! I'm so angry that I bounced my keyboard and mouse off of my desk by banging my fists on it and my sister-in-law is probably partially deaf since I was screaming and cussing and she had the misfortune of being on the phone when I discovered this freaking B.S.!!!!!! FREAKING B.S.!!!!!! I'm also on hold with her employer, heheh. If I'm going down, I'm taking her with me. Bitch. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!! I blame Vermont. If we had never been in Vermont, this would never have happened. Vermont is like a dog poo that you just can't scape off of your foot. It's a cockroach that crawls out of the dank, dark, recesses of a cesspool to feed just when you think the exterminators have finally eliminated the last one.

I need something to hit or break.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nose to the Grindstone

I've had my butt in my desk chair and books open as far as the eye can see all day. My business exam has me stressed out most of all. There was a ton of information crammed into the shortened summer semester and I have no idea how I'm going to remember it all. But enough whining.

It was a gorgeous North Carolina day. An abundance of sunshine and temps that didn't make you want to die. I actually sat outside and read my mail today. Then I came back inside and studied some more, lmao. And since that's all I did today, I have absolutely nothing of interest to blog about. Sorry.

Oh. Did anyone watch the meteor shower last night? C and I went out a little after 10 pm eastern time and didn't see anything. The freaking roaches scared me too much to stay outside for too long though. Damn things are as big as small dogs down here. Sheesh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

TGIF Already

I can't believe it's Friday already. This week has positively flown by. The heat is still persisting here. But it's not as bad as yesterday. It's only 95 with a heat index of 116. But you know what? I'd take this heat 365 days a year over one day of winter in Vermont.

I'm in a slight panic right now which is why I'm typing really fast not that you can tell just by reading this, lol. I just found out that my final exams are next week, not the week after like I had thought. I was given false information. I have MUCH studying to do on top of regular assignments. Why instructors need to squeeze the last drops of blood out of us during exam week is beyond me. Is it too much to ask to just be able to study???

As a result of exam week, I'm not promising to be around very much next week. On top of that, my mother-in-law will be arriving on the 16th. Busy, busy week next week.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday Meme

Courtesy of Booking Through Thursday

Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?

I have two copies of Syd Field's The Screenwriter's Workbook. Why? Because of an ordering snafu. I used to have duplicate copies of Harry Potter 1,2, & 3 because I bought them first in paperback and then replaced them with hardcover copies. I no longer have them because I think I gave them to my friend's son to read.

If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

I don't buy multiple copies of books because my shelves are already overflowing and it would be a waste of money. Is there a need to have more than one copy of a book? If there is, I'm not sure what it would be. I've always considered myself a little OCD where my books are concerned but maybe I'm small-time compared to people who need more than one copy of their beloved books.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It's 98 with a heat index of 116.

Ummm. Yeah.

I'm Doing It

Biting the bullet.

Sticking my neck out there.

Taking the leap.

Going for the gold.

Taking a chance.

And most of all...

Sucking it up.

I decided to submit my creative nonfiction to a publisher. I have to submit a piece of my writing to either a publisher or my professor for consideration and I decided to go all the way and pick a publisher. I'm actually sending it to two different literary magazines. I'm only required to submit to one, but I figured if I'm doing it, I'm doing it all the way. I would have chosen more than two but I ran out of printer ink, lol. Do I think I'll get published? Not in a million. I'm mostly doing it for shits and giggles. The magazines that I chose said that they read each and every submission and will return an actual written response. I figure at the very least, this will be a learning experience. If I get turned down, I'll be disappointed, but not crushed. It's never been my life's ambition to be a writer. I want to put other writers' works into published books for the world to read, not my own.

It's curious though, that I'm more at ease with perfect strangers reading my writing than I am people that know me which is why I'm not posting it here. I don't consider blogging writing. Well, at least my blogging, lol.

Anyway, it could take 9 months to get a response, so be prepared to wait. I'll post the responses, when I get them, no matter what they are.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Don't Feel Like Blogging

It's 95 with a heat index of a 111. I just got back from running an errand and it was miserable. It's so hot that my a/c is having a hard time keeping up. It's been on all day and the temp in my house is 76. Granted, that's better than 95 but I have it set on 72 and it's getting uncomfortable inside. The bad part: It's not even the hottest part of the afternoon yet and tomorrow is supposed to be worse.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I have one. I have two actually, ummm, maybe three. But one is major and the others are minor issues. I've been debating with myself about posting them here but I need some unbiased opinions. However, the opinions I usually get are from my real life friends so are they really unbiased? ARGH!! Add dilemma #4: Not being able to make a decision. I don't know what to doooooooo!!!!! I have to give it more consideration.

In the meantime, I'm going to finish writing my screenplay. Yeah. You read correctly. I have to write a freaking screenplay. I already have the foundation written out and the mother dies in the end. BWAHAHAHA!!! Wonder where the inspiration for that one came from. Huh? Huh? And NO. She isn't murdered. Geez. I'm not a psychopath.

Thursday Meme

I'm not doing it this week because it asks a question that my answer is "no" to and how fun is that? And I didn't have time to think about it last week. Hopefully, it'll be back next week.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I finally got my grade back on my creative nonfiction piece. Ya know, the one that I was all worried about because of how revealing and personal it was? I got an A!! I was so excited. He had really positive comments too. I also got my peer review comments back on my short story and all my reviewers had good things to say too. They liked the twist at the end. Maybe I'll post this one on my blog sometime.

Anyway, it was a really good way to start my morning yesterday and it set the tone for the rest of my day too.