Last Work Day of the Year

Today was my last day of work for the year. I'm taking my last vacation day tomorrow since we can't carry our vacation days over to the next year. Tomorrow I am meeting Homercles for lunch. I can't wait for the Chicken on the Stick! I've spent much of this evening ripping my CDs into iTunes so I can listen to them on my iPod. Tonight I've focused mainly on my classical CDs. I think I'm about halfway through all of my CDs and I already have 8.76 GB in music.


Call the Courier

As a former resident of Waterloo, Iowa, I routinely visit the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier website. One of my favorite columns in the paper to read is the "Call the Courier" column. Call the Courier gives readers the opportunity to call the paper and ask questions that are supposedly of general interest to residents of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. Many of the questions are from people who are either too lazy or too stupid to do a little simple research on their own. Most of the rest of the questions are actually thinly veiled attacks on local government officials, the school district, or other governmental entities. I do admit, there are occasionally some good questions. Sometimes the people who write the answers do so with a bit of a sarcastic tone. I really liked the answer they gave one of their callers today. The caller asked, "Who would I address my resume to for a reporting position?" Naturally, either being lazy or unable to do any research for one's self are traits most newspapers look for when hiring reporters. The answer from the paper was, "If you need to use Call the Courier to find that out, you're too lazy to be working here."



Mel spent much of her morning changing her name with the credit card companies and with others with whom she does business. I'm just glad that I don't have to bother with this tradition. One of the places she called to get her name changed was our mortgage company. They are sending us the paperwork we need. Then we'll have to send it back with $100 to process the paperwork! One hundred dollars seems to me to be an outrageously high amount of money to change her name on the deed and on other relevant paperwork. We knew there'd be a fee. Our original lender estimated that it would be about $50. Apparently she was a little low in her estimate. I fail to understand why it should cost so much to complete some paperwork.


It's Christmas!

No, I’m not going to write about the so-called “War on Christmas” which some people think is going on. Quite frankly I find the whole argument ridiculous. People have been saying “happy holidays” for years and I’m sure that even when I was in elementary school in the 70s, we had “winter break” not “Christmas break.” What I am going to write about is the beginning of my many Christmas celebrations this year. Today, Mel and I are going to her grandmother’s house for a Christmas celebration. We don’t even have all of the wedding presents put away yet and we’ll be getting even more today. At least, thanks to drawing names as for whom to buy presents for, we each just get one thing. Then tomorrow afternoon, Mel’s friend from Ohio will be visiting. That should be fun.

Friday at work my department had its holiday party. We went bowling, which was a lot of fun. All of the math content specialists, including me, kind of kept to ourselves. Most of the other people in our specific area were unable to attend. They claimed to have too much work to get done. I guess that makes us one of three things:

1. People who like to have fun,
2. Very efficient in getting our work done, or
3. A bunch of slackers.

Personally, I’ll vote for numbers 1 and 2. Anyway, I bowled a 134 my first game and my scores went downhill from there. I took bowling in college as part of my Personal Wellness class, so I thought I should do better but I guess I didn’t remember enough of the skills I learned in the class to become a more skillful bowler. I didn’t even break 100 in two of the five games.

Mel and I had some fun last night. My friend Bill and his son came over. Bill needed to return to me a DVD that he had borrowed, Star Wars Clone Wars Volume 1. They stayed a while and we played UNO Attack. That was fun. I hadn’t seen Bill in a while. He was in our wedding, but I haven’t had the chance to really hang out with him otherwise in a couple months.

Well, I suppose I should finish getting ready to go to Mel’s grandmother’s house. Merry Christmas!


Six Months

I can't believe that it has been six months since my father passed away. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago when I answered the telephone to here my mother screaming incoherently. These months slipped away so quickly. Starting the new job and preparing for the wedding probably helped to fill the time. This Christmas will be rough, as well as December 23, which would have been my parents' 38th anniversary. I'm sure we'll all get through this, then things should get easier over time.

Christmas Shopping

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's the worst time of the year to be out shopping! Mel and I went shopping for Christmas presents yesterday. Thank goodness for the Target gift cards we got for our wedding. They really helped to cut down on what we spent, but we still spent a considerable amount of money at the other places we shopped. With Mel's extended family, we draw names for people to give presents to. That means that between the two of us and both of her parents' sides of the family, we only need four presents. I think that we need to propose to do the same with Mel's immediate family as we currently have to get presents for six people, not including the three children with a fourth one on the way by next Christmas. My mother does all of the gift buying for her side of the family and we don't exchange presents on my dad's side of the family. In fact, we don't really even get together. Some of us may get together in January when my uncle who lives in North Carolina is visiting, but it isn't really a formal Christmas get-together.


I'm Glad I'm Not Teaching Anymore

For some reason, while reading the newspaper last night, I was suddenly glad that I am no longer teaching. At that time, it occurred to me that I was actually able to spend the evening reading the paper instead of grading students’ papers or preparing lesson plans. Sure, there are things that I miss from teaching although most of them are not reasons to go back to teaching. I miss being able to get home from work around 3:15, although getting home just after 5:00 isn’t really that bad considering that once I am home, I don’t have to work until the next morning (aside from chores at home). I will miss the week of vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but if I still had the entire week off, I’d just waste it by sitting at home watching TV all day. I do miss working with the kids who enjoy learning. That’s really the only aspect of teaching that I do miss, other than the work schedule.


We're Married!

Last Saturday, my Mel and I got married! The ceremony went off without a hitch. Well that's not entirely true. Mel and I did end up getting hitched. The reception was a lot of fun. We won't be going on a honeymoon for at least a few months due to Mel's and my vacation schedules. The marriage certificate arrived in the mail today so now it's official. Tomorrow Mel gets to begin the process of changing her name. I wouldn't have had a problem if she had decided to keep her maiden name; it does seem like quite a hassle to change it. However, having the same name is nice and it will probably make things a lot simpler in the long run.