Posted by on 09 Nov 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

So, a funny thing happened on Nov. 1, I turned 36.  I guess it isn’t exactly funny, I get older every year on that day. However I’ve never spent my birthday money on a Fedora.  I always buy books or clothes or pay bills with the extra windfall. This year I bought myself a new Fedora. I have always liked hats, not ball caps, but hats. When I was little I wanted the straw Easter hats with the frilly bows and ribbons, Indiana Jone’s hat was a must, and I really wanted a Canadian Mounties hat.  I was told by someone that I looked very silly in hats, and hardly even wore a ball cap if I could help it. As time dragged me through my adulthood years I still had the stigma of looking silly in hats, so I continued to be hatless. Then I met a thirteen year old girl with very high self esteem. Her mom and I are good friends. I went to Indiana to visit my friend, and her daughter was turning thirteen. I happened to be there for the girl’s birthday party. The girl wore so many shades of purple my head spun. Her shirt had a circles on it in various shades of complementing purples. The girl’s skirt was a vertical striped pattern in different hues of purple. Then she put on bright pink knee high socks and white paint splatter Converse tennis shoes with a big pink peace sign on the sides. To make her outfit complete, she put on a black and dark purple, horizontally striped hoodie.  It was um… well it was hideous.

Now if I remember right thirteen was an extremely mean age.  Kids are cruel.  I was picked on so much when I was thirteen, school was hell. When I told my friend’s daughter that she clashed and the fashion police were going to give her a ticket she said, “I know. I don’t care. What do the fashion police know anyway?”

My jaw hit the floor. I sat there reeling. She knows? She doesn’t care? Has being thirteen changed that much? I asked her mother about all this, quietly of course, without the daughter in the room. My friend said that her daughter has always worn whatever the daughter wanted, matching or not, and that the girl honestly didn’t care. Ok then. I shrugged and let it go. At the party, no one even said a word about the girl’s clothes. The outfit stopped bugging me after awhile to the point where I could focus on the daughter and not what she was wearing.

I have been thinking about that birthday party ever since it happened. Could I, at 36, be like my friend’s daughter? Well I could, what would the consequences be? More peace of mind for me. How liberating would that be? I still get picked on, but the worse part is I still let it bug me. WHY??!? (Smack my forehead yet again…) I went to get my fedora with my husband. I wore it all day yesterday. I got a lot of good comments about my hat. My husband said that I was cute. I love my hat! What do the fashion police know anyway?

Writing about what is in my head

Posted by on 30 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

So I felt myself wondering why today how I always want to blog but never take the time to.  It’s been over a year since I have blogged, which is no surprise if you look at the blog history.  My blog is not flashy or earth shattering, and now I’m asking myself if it has a purpose in my life.  What do other people’s blogs do for them? I have never asked my husband Joe this question. I know that some people make money on their blogs, but what were they for originally? What do I have one for? Maybe it’s for all those thoughts you get about absolutely nothing important but will not leave your brain. For example, I recently took this career quiz online and it said my number one job choice would be in science.  Well – DUH – that is what my degree is in, but the second highest score really surprised me.  The score said I would like a job as a professional writer. Me? I have the vocabulary of a second grader, I can’t spell, my syntax is horrid and I’ve never learned how to type.  How could I possibly want to be a writer? This conundrum has been rolling around in my brain for two weeks now and won’t leave. So I blog away…

What led me to answer those quiz questions the way I did? A writer? It sure beats telemarketing. But a writer? The only thing I know how to write now are scientific papers. The papers that start with abstracts and are broken down into hypothesis, methods, results and discussion sections. The kind of reports that only scientists understand.

Now I read quite a lot of fiction. I read at least three or four books a week. I know what other kinds of writing look like, but I haven’t the foggiest notion HOW to write those other kinds. Writing might be like calculus – once you take calculus you can no longer add or subtract – once you are trained to write scientific papers all bets are off for other kinds of writing. Supposedly this quiz was all scientific and stuff and I could pay to have the “complete”  results e-mailed to me. Whatever. The results were predictable on all counts except this writing thing.

I have been giving this whole writing thing some thought however. Before being blinded by science I would tell people that my favorite subject was English. As I thought about this I wondered why that was the case. I liked writing most everything but poetry. Poetry has never made any sense to me and I have no gift for it.  My fiction was also pretty shaky but that is neither here nor there.

As I mulled all this in my head I realized that a lot of professional writing is not all fiction or poetry.  I suppose that I could be a technical writer like for manuals and stuff people never read, but would that make me happy?  After all this is about my happiness right? I never considered myself in a writing position, always a teacher or a lab rat.  What would a writing position be like? Would I have to go back to grade school to learn what I didn’t the first time around? How about typing? What about syntax? Where do adults go to learn stuff they were never taught? ESL classes? All questions that maybe I don’t want to have answered.

Writing books say that to become a better writer you need to write a lot. I have some problems with this statement. If I write every day for hours will it improve my syntax? My vocabulary? Somehow I highly doubt it. I need those skills first, and then they will improve with practice. And again we come to those same questions. Where do you get English skills once you are out of school?

And why am I so obsessed about that stupid test and what it said? I have never taken those things so literally before. Why now? Am I deep down in my heart of hearts really want to be a writer? I thought a lot about writing a memoir when my brother died. I wanted to get all the feelings that were flooding my soul out of me. I never did write a thing about my experience with that grief. I was afraid that if my parents found out who their daughter really was that it would lead to a lot of uncomfortable conversations that I did not want to have.

I also have tried to attempt to write three novels during National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo is this insane group where writers from all over, each try to write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. The wackos picked November for their month, so right off the bat they shorted themselves one whole day. I have never finished this insane challenge.

Other things have occurred to me about how I might want to be a writer. I have read several novels on writing. They each had really good points for improving your writing, but I never wrote them down so I have no idea what they are. What if a writing career was feasible? Of course all the a fore mentioned questions about vocabulary and stuff would need to be answered, but what if?

Jennie’s Musings for 2008

Posted by on 01 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Well 2007 in my opinion, was like everything else, a lesson in the circle of life. Since I blog so often, let me catch everyone up.

My niece, Anika Marie White, was born on March 23, 2007. She is very adorable and a joy to be around. She is almost ten months old now but has the height and weight of a fourteen month old. She is extremely smart. Did I already mention that she is adorable? She’s adorable.

My 29 year old brother died on August 16, 2007. That sucked. It still sucks, and according to all I’ve talked to, will ALWAYS suck.

Bryan and I never saw eye to eye. We grew up at opposite ends of the spectrum. Me geeky and unpopular, him a jock and very popular. Needless to say we didn’t get along. All of the sudden we were adults and had no clue how to talk to each other. When we did talk it was awkward. I talk to him more now that he is dead than I ever did when he was alive. Unfortunately, telling youth to be grateful for their siblings is somewhat futile because almost every human being has to go through the “take it for granted” stage. I never understood the phrase “youth is wasted on the young” until my brother died. Sometimes being human just sucks.

It’s 2008 today and I for one am thinking about the year ahead. Resolutions are usually given up on by at least mid-February, so I’ve never put much stock into making them. However, I’ve been thinking – yes on purpose, on a holiday – that changes are no bad thing. I don’t want to call them resolutions, that word is daunting, but wishes for the new year.

The list is rather long, so if you’re bored go read something else.


I wish…

  • That I get my house of five years finally unpacked and organized into something I can be proud of so that Joe and I can finally make it our own.
  • That I lose sixty pounds.
  • That I learn enough about diabetes to get off my glucophage.
  • That I become more healthy overall.
  • That I get a meaningful part time job that I enjoy that will ease our finances and help get us out of debt sooner.
  • That everyone I know and love makes it to the year 2009 happy and healthy.
  • That I have a ritual for every Sabbat.
  • That I blog more often – it’s good for me.


I will probably add others as the weeks go by. I am going to post this list where I can see it every day. I hope to blog about things I accomplish from the list. To all who are making changes, whether they be resolutions or wishes, may you be blessed in all you do. Blessed be.


Posted by on 31 Oct 2006 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Well I seem to have this habit of posting at least once every year or so. To continue the trend..

Wed., Nov 1, is my birthday and my mother-in-law sent me this book yesterday called “The Good Good Pig,” by Sy Montgomery. For those of you who know me, I am a pig collector. I have stuffed pigs, ceramic pigs, homeade pigs, you get the idea. This book was right up my alley.

The book is about a 750 pound pig who gets adopted by a naturalist and her husband. It is a wonderful book. It even has pictures! He is a really cute pig! I am in the middle of reading it, yes again, and it still makes me laugh. This pig, his name is Christopher Hogwood, started out a runt. You heard me a runt. There is a picture of him sitting by a cat. The cat is bigger than Christopher.

This book is not just about Chris, but about blessings that can come in any shape or size. Blessings however bizarre the packaging, come at the least unexpected times in your life. Those unexpected times can come marked in a box with your name on it. This book was a blessing to me. Thanks Mom.

Inconsistencies and contradictions…

Posted by on 14 Nov 2005 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Today work was filled with inconsistencies.  I am not to leave my register under any circumstances.  I am always supposed to call someone else to find items for a customer, look up something online or carry things out to the car.  I have gotten in trouble for leaving my register.  So I called for someone (who happened to be the manager) to look something up for a customer online.  The manager told me to do it myself.  This is the same manager who reprimanded me for leaving my register.  Whatever.  So I go look the item up, and lo and behold, I get in trouble for leaving my register by the very same manager.  Sigh….

So then I get told today that I have ten days to finish my online training.  I have only done three modules out of twenty-three.  The last six take four to five hours each to complete.  I am scheduled to work 40 hours this week, so I cannot come in before my shift or stay after my shift to complete the modules because they refuse to pay overtime.  So when is this training supposed to get done?  Ummm…. never?  Goodness.


Subject change -

So my therapist told me to make a time budget, kinda of like a money budget, but with time.  Ugh.  That’s all I’ve got to say about that.  I would have to budget an hour each day to make the time budget for the following day.  The problem with time budgets is that everything takes longer than its supposed to.  Take errands for example.  You budget two hours for them and they end up taking four.  Whaty exactly do you do then?  I better try it though because I cannot fit everything into one day.  I haven’t been to the gym in two months!  That is really, really bad.  I am supposed to work to live not live to work.  Although lately the only thing that gets done is work.  Pathetic isn’t it?  Therefore since things need to be done other than work, I will try this budget thing and give it a go for at least three months.  The first month is probably going to suck.  So here goes…



Raising the bar?

Posted by on 05 Jul 2005 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

I have a cell phone from Cingular wireless. Their relentless commercials say they have the most overall coverage and the least dropped calls.  They are “raising the bar.”

Well not in Omaha, they’re not.

I cannot get through a 15 minute call in the Omaha metro area without the call being dropped at least once.  Sometimes it gets dropped two or three times.  The call will even be dropped when I have all of my bars showing.  Now supposedly the more bars you have, the better signal you have.  Whatever!

I moved my best friend Alison, to Evansville Indiana – which is in the middle of nowhere – and I got better reception there! I call customer service repeatedly and they tell me that they haven’t made the transition in all areas.  Sigh.  The reps at the Cingular store try to sell me a new picture phone with – wait there’s more – unlimited text messaging!  Good grief!

I just want to get through a call without it being dropped.  I guess I’ll have to move to Evansville.

Voices of Reason

Posted by on 30 Jun 2005 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

June 30 – the one year anniversary of my blog.  Not many entries, but it’s my blog.  I really should try to blog more often but…

Anyway, today my husband wrecked the car.  Got a ticket and everything.  Everyone was alright, but the car may be beyond help.

A picture of Jennie’s day:

I got up at 6am to be at work (I now work in a nice little sandwhich shop) by 8am.  Now at this sandwhich shop, everything is rolled on flour tortillas.  Today we had 95 box lunches, 8 party platters and 200 cookies to get out by 11:15.  Each party platter has five sandwiches on it so that is 140 sandwiches total.  Those were the ones that were preordered.

The actual store opens at 10am.  So between 8am and noon I made 150 sandwiches with the very same hands that are writing this sentence.  Other people were also making sandwiches so that is a lot of damn sandwiches!

Anyway, the store cuts all its own meat, cheese and veggies (carrots, cucumbers, onions, tomatos, green peppers, scallions, and mushrooms).  So with all that sandwich making there was quite a bit of replenishing to do.  I thought that my boss would keep me there until said replinishing was done, but she let me go at noon.

I thought that having lunch with my husband would be a nice thing to do, so I called him and agreed to go pick him up.  (Side note: our other car, MY car is in the shop waiting for a new starter and key tumbler)

I pick him up and we agree to go get Wendy’s and go to a park.  Since we only have one car, I thought that we should choose a park close to our house so that he could take the car to work afterwards and not have to bum a ride home.  The Wendy’s by our house is on a fairly busy street because of the I-80 on and off ramps and is always full of semis going to and from the factories.  You DO NOT turn left during busy times. 

However we want to go left, so Joe gets in the left turn lane exit at Wendy’s.  We have this conversation that we were going to be there all day.  Joe says no, not all day, just until three or so.  I told him that at 3pm it’s pretty hideous as well, but… A semi pulls just past the exit driveway.  The SUV behind the semi does not block the driveway to presumably let us out.  But we cannot see because we are in a Saturn and everybody else is either in a big ass truck, a semi or an evironmentally egregious breadbox (SUVs).  Joe decides he’s all clear because the SUV doesn’t block the driveway.  Out we pull, slammda into minivan.  Now minivan is blocking one lane of traffic and we, facing the wrong way, are blocking the other.  We get our car to the driveway by the Wendy’s.  The minivan is now in the middle lane used for left turns.  I am well, I fell completely apart.  This was all I needed in the face of all the other things I had going on.  The driver of the minivan comes over to see the damage to our car, bumper off, headlight smashed, hood dented, and that is just what I could see.  I am very stereotypically blonde when it comes to car innards so if something is wrong with those I wouldn’t know. 

So needless to say cops, tow trucks, insurance claims, the whole nine yards.  O.K. Just to put icing on the cake, as the driver of the minivan was crossing the street to go get his insurance info, he gets hit by another minivan.  THANK all the powers that be that he just got his foot scraped up.  The paramedics were called anyway, but he was fine.  He is going to the doctor later just to be sure, but he said he was fine.  Then three tow trucks arrive.  We only needed two, so I don’t know why they sent a third one.  During all of this we call our friend Sam, who happens to work with Joe, to come and get us.  He shows up and I cry all over Sam.  Now at Joe and Sam’s work they program in pairs, they cannot write code unless they are in pairs.  Well now Sam and Joe are both out of the office and they were paired up today, so now what they were working on is on hold.  Joe finds out from our insurance company that we have rental car coverage and that Enterprise will deliver a car to us, hence, we do not need a ride from Sam.  Sam knows that I am in need of support but wanting to be productive at work, calls his wife Erica and says that I need company.  So Erica comes and I cry all over her.  After tow trucks and ticket Joe goes back to work with Sam, (details about rental car to be worked out later) and I went with Erica.

Erica and I wait at the scene with the wife and children of the minivan driver until they were picked up.  The minivan driver went and got their other car.  Not wanting to be alone I ask Erica to stay with me.  We went to lunch, bought chocolate, and went shopping. GOOD therapy.

While at the resturante, I am venting about what an idiot my husband is.  Erica, being the voice of reason, says, “Jennie, you can look at this one of two ways.  You can either be pissed and say my husband is an idiot OR you can say we are very lucky no one got hurt.  The mother was very down to earth and handled the whole situation beautifully.  She could have freaked out or have been a total dick about things but she wasn’t – and that – is a blessing.”

Thank the powers that be for voices of reason.

I felt a WHOLE lot better.  It is now 7pm.  Time for mindless TV and curling up with my husband. 

Lost luggage

Posted by on 29 Mar 2005 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Well I haven’t blogged in quite awhile.  My last blog post was rather emotional and I was just done.  Whenever I went to blog about the mundane things in my life, I worried that someone would read my blog and say what a dumb thing to blog about.  Joe told me it did not matter what I blogged about, my blog was for me –

You know how concepts sometimes go in one ear and out the other?  Well I really do not think that the concepts go out the other ear, they just fail to reach the processing center.   This leads to light bulb moments.  Those moments where the light bulb goes on and all is right with the world.  I’ll explain what I mean.

Say the destination the “concept processing center” is where the concepts need to get to for us to fully understand them.  Brain cells take these concepts from the senses to the processing center.  However sometimes the brain cell gets rerouted and the concept they are carrying – their “luggage” – gets lost.  Hence the lost luggage compartment of our brain.  Concepts just lie in wait going round and round on the shiny thing waiting for their owners to come and claim them.  When the particular brain cell that has the right baggage claim check retrieves their luggage from the conveyor belt and actually takes it to the processing center, we “get” it.  The light bulb goes on, we slap our forheads with the palm of our hand and go, “now why didn’t I think of that sooner?”

The light bulb moment.  We’ve all had them, and if you haven’t had one, go away.  My light bulb moment came yesterday while I was reading about health insurance.  This is my light bulb moment – my blog is for me and who really cares if someone thinks that an entry is stupid.

All together now…


There.  Doesn’t everyone feel a lot better?

I’m getting a big head….

Posted by on 08 Nov 2004 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

I am posting a couple of my students e-mail responses stemming from my forced resignation.  My students appreciated my honesty and candor about their stupid class.  I feel exonerated – still fired – but exonerated because my students have said it all.  These particular e-mails are from students who were basically flowers on the wall, meaning they never stayed after class to chat, or came in for extra help.  These students were never very vocal in class and did not stand out in the class.  I have many e-mails from my vocal students, but these e-mails from my flower students make me feel very good about what I was accomplishing in the classroom.  Here are their e-mails.

Not at all, your teaching was great
One thing I like about your teaching was that you went straight to the point.
I am not going to have fun at all with the new person I can guarantee you
that. You know me already if there is something wrong I would not hesitate
to voice my concern. I do not have faith in the biology department for some
reason. I have had some bad experinces from the day I was looking for your
office which nobody seemed to know up till now. I stick in there till the
end of the semester. Trust I will never take a class in that department.
I wish you all the best. And count on me if I need help I will surely
contact you for help.
Thanks again

I think that you are one of the best teachers I have had, you are
knowledgable, caring, and empathtic.  I can not believe that anyone in
their right mind could find you unfit.  But in the long run I am happy for
you because the pain is over and hopefully you can find somewhere that you
will be appreciated for the person that you are.  I have an idea of the
stuff you were going through and I am happy that it is over for you.  I am just
disappointed in the U.N.O program for letting you go.  Thank you for
being a teacher but most of all a friend.  See you on Monday…Good luck with
the interveiw…I understand if it goes long.

P.S. You will be missed!



Personally, I was very happy with your methods of teaching.
After the first day of lab, when you actually had us go around to the
stations, I was worried about what this lab experience was going to be
like. I noticed, as you’ve pointed out, that the answers are not always in
the stupid posters that are located at each station.
I was very pleased when, the following week, you made the outline more
closer to an actual classroom. Since this is an introductory class, I can only assume that us students
are really not supposed to know anything, and your format was much more
beneficial in that regard, in my opinion.
I think it really sucks that just because you make some changes to the
curriculum, only making it better for the students, and yet they are
forcing you to resign, is really ridiculous.
I find it ironic that individuals who are in the science community,
individuals that are supposed to realize that there is more than one
way to do something – and that the current way might not be best – are the
same individuals who are forcing you to resign.
You only missed one class. That is really nothing. I had an English
class my freshman year in which the teacher missed 11 or 12 classes. That
professor wasn’t fired.

Also, I have asthma, and I noticed you had an inhalor in class one
morning, so I am assuming you do as well. I know that if I was in the hospital
until 3 AM that saturday morning, even if I had set my alarm for the right
time, I might not have made it to class.
It seems like the people who are “above” you, apparently only by
position of authority, are real unforgiving bastards and their actions will turn
out to only hurt the students in your lab rather than help.

Thank you for being our lab instructor – I think you did a great job.

I hope all works out for you.
Jennie -

Thank you for letting me know what was up. I am sorry to see that you
must leave, since you taught better than any other TA that I have had in the
3 and a half years of college I have muddled through. I hope that you
find luck in wherever you may be going from here. One thing that I noticed
was that you have a very good way of relating with students, was curious as
to whether you ever considered teaching at a high-school/community college
level. Wouldn’t know if you would enjoy that, they can be  bureaucratic
bitches too. Again thank you, and good luck.


Jenny – I am so sorry about what happened, you don’t deserve the pain and everything involved. I feel INCREDIBLY satisfied with you as my TA and I’m going to be depressed going into lab on wednesday, and the following wednesdays as well. Is there anything that I can do anymore or is all said and done? I would like to try if it means you getting your position back. Thank you for being my favorite teacher this semester, take care of yourself. If I need extra help, which I will I’m sure, I will be knockin’ on your door. Thanks again!


This particular student tried to take this class a couple of semesters ago.  He actually told me that he requested my lab section this semester.  Here is his e-mail.


First off I would like to say that the biology department here is full
of shit-heads if they cannot see what a wonderful TA you have been to
all of us.  We appreciate you more than you will ever know it.  I know
that you had to do what you had to do and refuse to think that anyone
who knows you can blame you for your decision.  I personally would not
deal with the likes of these people either.  I hope all is well for you
and that you complete your goals despite all of the UNO turmoil.  I
would like to think that on some level even if it is a very small one we
also became friends during these last 2 semesters, so from one friend to
another good luck and we’ll be seeing ya.  I have your number and will
surely call for help or just to say hello.  May you be blessed with
serenity to accept the things you cannot change,  the courage to change
the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference..-


It is really nice to know that I was reaching my students.

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.



Leave of absence…

Posted by on 05 Nov 2004 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

So I went to the BIG meeting and was told that my dismissal process had started on Monday.  This meeting (on Thursday) was just a formality to let the me know about the department’s decision to dismiss me.  Great.  Verdict and sentencing before I was even aware there was a problem.  I am taking a temporary leave of absence from all things academic until further notice, effective yesterday at noon.  I was very unhappy at grad school anyway.  This semester my disenchantment with grad school was at its worst.  I wasn’t sleeping or eating or even teaching very well.  My schoolwork suffered a lot.  I need a break, the opportunity presented itself, and so I took one.     

I feel slightly giddy.  I actually got some sleep!  I haven’t been able to sleep in months.  This may be a veeerrry dangerous thing.

I applied for a job online Thursday afternoon and was called Friday afternoon for a phone interview.  I have a final interview on Monday!  I just applied.  They said it would take at least a week to hear anything from them.  This just affirms my belief in everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences in life.  Yeah me.

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