Monday, September 29, 2008

Tina Fey is swell.

To give you proper background for the hilariousness that will ensue:

And now, Tina Fey:

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have taught at least 20 kids today that I taught when they were in 6th grade. Now they're taller than me. Weird.

And, in the exciting news category, demolition has begun on the bathroom. It should be beautiful in no time flat. Can't wait to show you all!

My family

These are some pictures from the book I mentioned in an earlier post. My Nana gave it to me as a graduation gift, and I love the photos.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Any fears I had about not working enough are gone away. Looks like my problem will be saying no...
I've worked every day except yesterday for quite some time, and yesterday I was summoned to work...I just had an important meeting.

Today, high school, which is awesome.
My paycheck will be much more significant than originally thought.

I just joined the Marketing Committee for the Hickory Museum of Art, and I'm totally excited. I've been a busy bee since our meeting yesterday, and it feels oh so good.

And, just in time for the birthday of my blog, Jon is remodeling our other bathroom. Hopefully, the 1 year anniversary post can match the first post...a testament to how cool the bathroom and my husband are.

Monday, September 22, 2008

How to become a Google Master!

Google is very user friendly. Without a single tip, you’re likely to find what you need. This guide should help you become a super Google searcher.

First, I’ll cover the basics. If you want to know about the skeletal system, you can type in “skeletal system” or “bones” or “human skeleton”. Use your common sense. If you include more than one word, it automatically returns websites with all of the words in it. There is no need to use “and”. As a bonus, if you misspell a word, Google will ask you, “Did you mean______?” Click that, and you’re on the way. This is one reason I am in love with Google. Capitalization doesn’t matter at all. You can type “Skeleton”, “skeleton”, or “sKeLeToN”, and your results will be the same.

Google also automatically excludes common words, such as “where”, “how”, and some single digits and single letters. This is because they slow down the search and they don’t help. If it is important that one of these words be included in your search (it almost never is), put the phrase in quotation marks.

Now...some tricks are coming your way. You may know some of these, but I bet you haven't seen them all! Some of these come from Google's advice pages, and some are tricks I picked up over the years.

1: Exact Phrases:
Put quotation marks around your words if you need an exact phrase. For example “The land of the free” will return results for that phrase instead of the individual words.

2: Excluded Words:
Put a minus sign before words you do not want included. Let’s say you want to know about the musical instrument, the bass. You enter “bass” and get a great deal of results about fishing. You would type into the box “bass –fishing”, and you will get music results.

3: Similar Words:
You will use ~ to help you find similar words. If you type in “~computer” you will get not only results containing the word “computer”, but also “desktop”, “laptop”, “Mac”, “PC”, etc.

4: Multiple Words:
You want a website that includes the terms “Hickory” or “Catawba”. Use the word “or” in between the two words, and you will get results using either word.

5: Numerical Ranges:
Say you want to know about the history of North Carolina, but only for the years 1900-1950. You would enter “North Carolina 1900..1950”. Note the 2 periods between the years. You can also enter "DVD player $50..$100" to become a thrifty thrifty Googler.

6: Find Meanings:
Don’t want to get out the dictionary? Just type “define:” before your search term. This will also work for defining texting language (lol, bff, etc) or jargons.

7: Site Specific:
You want to know about the skeletal systems, but you only want your results to be from .edu websites. No problem. Type “Skeletal System site:edu”. You want to search for something on a specific website? “Skeletal System site:”.

8: Linked Pages:
If you’re looking for pages that link to a certain website, you can use this: “”.

9: Math Answers:
There is no need to get out your calculator. If you type “20^2”, it will give you the answer “400”. If you type “(30 * 70)/5” it will give you the answer “420”.

10: Conversions:
You can type “mph in speed of light” and get “670 616 629 mph” or you could type “$ in pounds” and get “0.543094553”.

11: World Wide Time:
You want to know what time it is in Hong Kong? Just type “what time is it” and the city, and it will tell you the time.

12: Find superior products:
Say that you like your ipod, but you think there is a better one out there. You can type “better than ipod”, and you will get results that point you in the right direction.

13: ID people, places, objects and foreign language words:
Let’s say you don’t know what a jicama is. You can go to the Google image search, or simply type “image jicama”.

14: Find music:
This is an obscure trick, and one you’ll never memorize. It’s an advanced series of search terms which you may copy and paste, replacing the band “Nirvana” for whatever band you would like. You type, or paste the following: “-inurl:(htmhtmlphp) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wmamp3) "Nirvana"”. You no longer need Napster!

15: Make Google recognize faces:
You need to see a picture of a girl named Rose? Even with an image search, you will get mostly pictures of the flower. We’re going to add a special search term at the end to help us out: “rose &imgtype=face”. This should return only faces in your result.

16: Find specific document types:
For instance, you need a PowerPoint presentation about the history of North Carolina. You would type (please note that you need quotation marks) “ “North Carolina History” filetype:ppt”. Your results will all be PowerPoint presentations. Also, try PDF, DOC, and any other file type.

17: This or That:
Google automatically finds pages that have all of your search words. Sometimes you would like an either/or situation. You are going to use the word “OR” (please capitalize). For example: “skeletal system OR skeleton”.

18: Area Code lookup:
All you need to do to find the location of an area code is type in the three numbers. Google will tell you where it it from. Example: “828”

19: Check your weather:
To check your weather, enter the word “weather” followed by your zip code. Example: “weather 28601”

20: Find recipes:
Just type in a few of the ingredients you have in your fridge. Google will find recipes that you can make.

21: Be really specific:
If you need to have the search term “skeleton” listed in the title, use “intitle: skeleton”. This will give you only webpages with skeleton in the title. If you need more than one word in the title, try “allintitle: skeleton human”. This will give you only pages with both words in the title.

22: Get a timeline:
Sometimes a timeline is wonderful to have. If you would like a time line with your search, add “view:timeline” after your search. For example: “theatre view:timeline”.

23: Want to seach for something local? The best way I've found is to go to Google Maps, then type in your city. Once you've done that, you can enter your search term and you'll be in business.

24: If I forgot to mention anything, you can try Google's advanced search. That should help you tremendously.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention this free service: You can call 1-800-Goog-411 to get any business listing for free. It works just like information, only you don't have to pay for it. Yay Google! Am I the only one who'd like to give them a big hug?

Do you know any other great tips? Leave them in comments, please.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Nana

When I turned 18, my Nana gave me the most wonderful present: A book, filled with her writing, and pictures of my family...really cool, old pictures, and at the end, a letter.

"Success, for you, would be hard to define, so my wish for you is that you would have some sunshine and rain, and for you to feel what others are feeling, and to be there for them."

I think that's really very awesome. At least once a month I take the book out and look over it. It reminds me where I came from, and where the people I come from came from.

I think I'll have to scan these pictures, and I'll share some when I do.


Isn't that crazy?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shark Tooth Jen

Avast, me hearties!

My new pirate name for National Talk Like A Pirate Day is Shark Tooth Jen. Be dubbed here.


I've been teaching 2nd grade now for 4 days, and at this same school for 6. It's exhausting. Fun, and money making, but exhausting. dog has the runs. Yesterday morning, I stepped right into a pile, then looked around and found 5 more piles. Then I got home from school, cleaned up a bunch more on the hardwood floor downstairs. When I went upstairs, oh, lots more on the carpet. Not as easy to clean up. She pooped outside a couple of times yesterday, but did it again on the living room floor in the middle of the night. I wasn't worried, because sometimes dogs get the trots, but it's lasted longer than I'm ok with.

Going to see Producers tonight. And when I get home, Jon will be home. Haven't mentioned it on my blog, because I don't like to announce that I'm home alone, but he's been gone since Sunday, and I miss him so bad I hurt. Tonight, he'll get home about the time the play is over. Oh dear Lord I'm excited.

Captain D's sent me a coupon for a free dinner for my birthday. Weird, yes, but I love that place, so I went there for my free dinner. They gave me the third degree like I was a criminal. But, they gave me my free food, so I'm over it.

I also went to see my mom for dinner to celebrate the B-day. That was lovely. Always very nice to be able to hang out with her. She's a very cool lady.

So glad it's Friday. Fridays haven't mattered to me much over the summer, but this one shall be celebrated.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The best thing SNL has done in years.



If you can't figure out who to vote for, click here. It's a survey type thing, where you are given 2 choices on an issue, without knowing who it go through lots of issues, then it tells you who you should vote for, based of course, on your answers. Thanks Mom!

For me, it still said Obama.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hickory Community Theatre presents The Producers!

I'm going to see this Friday. I am so much more excited now that I've seen this video, and now that I'll be working with the theatre again. This video is well done, and gives a great little peak into the production process.

And, you can see the beautiful theatre that I'll be directing in. :) I can't wait.

Allison is awesome!

I was going to sum up my birthday celebrations, but Allison did a better job than I would have.



I still <3 subbing. Friday and Monday I was 3rd grade at my favorite school. Today, I'm 2nd. And at 8:00, before all the kids got to class, and in the rain, we had a fire drill. Highly unusual and difficult to manage. My guess: a sixth grader got a little alarm happy...maybe they had a test.

I will never miss teaching if I can do this from time to time. So much better suited for me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Exactly 20 years ago...

From A Hurricane Called Carmen

I remember this day, and this party. Notice the computer printed banner in the background...pretty high tech for 1988. My mom always made such a big deal of our birthdays, and we looked forward to them so much. Thanks mom. I had a really good time 20 years ago today.

People invited...Chrissy, Katie, Mariah...that's all I can see. But I think also Nancy, Katie, and Kelly. Probably also Dana and Cassie. Also, people, I had an imaginary friend. His name was Tree Trunk. See, he was a tree trunk...somehow whichever one I was closest to. I don't remember him very well, but my last TT memory was making out an invitation for him for this party. And I'm sure he came, and stood right outside the window, disguised as the magnolia tree we liked to climb.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My favorite use of Facebook

My friend Doug happens to be almost exactly my age. Apparantly, he spent his childhood doing lots of the same things I did.

Behold. *****

I did a search, and Are You Afraid of the Dark is now on DVD. I smell an item for my Christmas with list.
*****Turns out, you must be logged into facebook before that link will work. So, if you're interested, get signed in, then click that link. Sorry non facebook folk.

2 Reasons I'll vote for Obama.

1: And I've said this from the beginning. He doesn't take money from oil companies. None. No money from oil companies. Gas is $5 a gallon. That makes a lot of people who can't afford to drive to work every day and also feed their families. What did we expect when we elected people whose oil ties go so very very deep? This is a major problem...and no politician who takes money from big oil can ever do anything to change it. And goodness, we need to get off the oil. I'm pretty sure that people who got rich from oil aren't going to want to make it obsolete. So, Obama's refusal to accept oil money is a big huge deal for me.

2: John McCain is dishonest. I can't abide dishonesty*. And I know that you have to lie sometimes if you're president, but there is no need to do it so blatantly while you're running for office. McCain has run at least 4 ads that I know of that say Obama's tax plan will "Painfully increase taxes for middle class Americans." It just isn't true. In fact, let's look at the two tax plans for families making $38,000-$66,000...McCain's plan will save them an average of $325 a year. OK-that's well and good. Those same people would save an average of $1,118 with Obama's plan. I really feel like those people...the ones that work hard, and have to shuffle and juggle to make all the ends meet...those are the people that need to save money on taxes. Not the billionaires. Part of my issue is the lie, but the real problem is that he would lie about something so easy to check on...which makes me think that he must think we're idiots. I'm not an idiot, and I know how to use Google.

There is a website,, that is excellent. It isn't reports good and bath for Republicans and Democrats. I urge you to look at it when you aren't sure something is true. It's hard to get truth in media. Click here to read more about McCain's "pattern of deceit".

I also have this feeling...old, rich white men have been leading this country for a long time, and the rich get richer as the middle class disappears into poverty. Since I'm not an old, rich white man, that makes me pretty uncomfortable.

And I'm not saying that Obama is the best man for president...there are a lot of men. But I whole heartedly feel that he is our best choice right now. What we've done all this isn't working now. We need change, and I'm not sure of all the changes we need. But certainly, we need change.

I know a lot of you will disagree with me. I've read your emails, and I've investigated. But, I'm sticking with this, I do believe.

On a side note, I love Obama's Internet campaign. He is on every social site I know of...he twitters to keep his friends updated, and he's made an effort to reach people that way. McCain on the other hand, has said that his goal is to "finally get on the Internet". This world has changed drastically, and the world now runs on the Internet. I don't want a president who doesn't understand how it affects our world.

And one more side note...Obama's medical plan is sorely misunderstood. Part of this misunderstanding comes from McCain ads. Click here to read a little about it, or Google it.

I think this may be my first ever political blog entry.

*Matt, if you're reading this, you're influencing my choice of words.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

View from the stage at the 80's party:

Posted by Picasa

Sorry it took so long...

My friend Liz took this at the 80's party. Check out that eye makeup. That was fun times.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

This just in...

Me, directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Hickory Community Theatre. This is good for lots of reasons, and I have a big smile on my face.

My cousin

My cousin Caroline is studying abroad in Copenhagen, and she started a blog. I've been working on it today, and you should check it out. Also feel free to follow her...I added that new thing blogger keeps talking about...list your followers, and it's just me now, which is sad.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Subbing is good. Working is good. Especially when I know it won't be the same thing every day. Today, K-2 drama. Tomorrow, High School Science. That's different, huh? I did my student teaching in high school. I was 22. But I've not taught science. I'm sure I'll have very easy to follow lesson plans, and kids in anatomy will probably be smart and mostly well behaved. Probably.

To catch you up

So, right now, I'm sitting in the library, waiting for my classes to start. I have an hour to kill, but then I'll be subbing for the first time. I'm excited, especially since I'm in a drama class. But let's be clear: this does not mean I miss teaching, or am sad that I quit. As I was driving to school I thought, "I'm glad I don't do this every day".

My eighties party was awesome, folks. This evening, I'll post pictures of my own, and some of Chris' (the party's host). Until then, I can give you this link, which I haven't been able to look at because of the school's firewall. There may be some horrible pictures of me on there, and if there are, just pretend that I look like a goddess, if you don't mind. I know you don't. I got to sing Walk Like an Egyptian, and some others, but that was my favorite.

So, what else has been going on in my life? Not too terribly much...I may have a regular karaoke night in the works. That would be cool. My birthday is one week from today. That is cool, also. I will be 27.

Friday night I went out with some teacher friends...we went to Outback, where I haven't been in ages, so that was swell...but then we went to the Hickory Tavern. I've never been there. My impressions? Boo. Then we went to Iron Thunder. I've never been there. My impressions? Boo.
Oh well.

Yesterday I watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time, and loved it. I guess the advantage to never having seen most movies is that now I get to watch them all. Also yesterday, I watched Taking Lives, which was good, but seemed to have some false endings. And people, there isn't much that irritates me more than a movie that doesn't know when it's end is.

Oh-awesome news: My whole life, my blood pressure has been too high, or at the very least, the high end of normal. After 1 week of eating like a caveman, my blood pressure is normal, folks. 117/74. I can only imagine that if my blood pressure is normalizing, so are my cholesterol and sugar levels. So, yay for cavemen!

Remember all my stomach troubles? Last school year they were pretty debilitating at doctor said I had irritable bowel syndrome. It's been fine all summer, but today, I've spent way too much time in the bathroom, and my stomach is kicking around like a mad man as I type this. So, perhaps it is the stress of looking after kids, or knowing that it is coming. Or, perhaps it is just getting up at 6 that does it, but I'm glad it is no longer a daily occurrence.

I'm starting to get into Facebook. It seems better than MySpace, but I'm still not sure about it. Last night, a very old friend of mine found me (we have no friends in common, and my last name is different, so I'm not sure how he found me) and left some comments. That's kind of thrilling. But, what about all the people in life that I'm glad I lost touch with? Do I have to respond when they contact me?

Last thing: all of my craziness from the pill seems to be subsiding. :) Yay. I feel mostly sane these days. Mostly.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


This is my costume for the eighties party, Saturday night at 9 at Beefs. I will have better hair and purple/blue fingernails. What do you think?
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New Happenings

Jon and I are exploring the realms of stock photography. We found one we liked, and we've started the long process.

More coming soon.