Posts of 2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people. All for the 6 posts I wrote this year!

Click here to see the complete report.


I’ve been in pain for about a week now and I can’t wait to see the chiropractor on Monday afternoon!! Last Tuesday, I woke up and my upper back hurt so much that I thought I was going to throw up. I took a very hot shower, which helped to relax some of the aching muscles, and headed to work. Thank goodness the athletic trainers at THS are just has helpful as Coach Bowman and Coach K were at SPHS! I got a 15 minute electro-shock treatment (I like to joke and call it electro-shock therapy but I have no idea what it’s actually called) and headed to the middle schools. The rest of the week was rounding out okay and my back wasn’t hurting nearly as much, thanks to Aleve and hot showers.

Then on Friday I woke up really cold – the thermostat said my house was 10 degrees colder than I’d had set it for. After a hot shower to get my brain working, I went out to the heater and saw that the pilot was lit but no fire on the burners. 😐 Turns out the HVAC unit is unrepairable so I get a new one….on Tuesday! Thank goodness for a great landlord because he left me two space heaters that have kept the living room and master bedroom nice and warm.

Having to go to the cold rooms in the house for various reasons hasn’t helped my back. The pain is mostly in my neck and shoulders today. I’ve managed to get some laundry done as well as unload/load the dishwasher. That’s about it though. I’m having a hard time thinking about what I need to do, much less get much done. So if this blog entry has bits and pieces that don’t make sense, that’s why. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s chiropractor’s appointment!

Love you, mean it!

Gotta have a good closet.

I live in an older home here in Amarillo (very Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, 1950s era home). It’s a 4 bedroom house with very little closet space. In fact, one of the closets has been made even smaller when the landlord created a 2nd bathing space (stand up shower and sink in the room). So I decided to make the 9’x 8′ room into a walk-in closet. I have been able to finish 95% of the room with inexpensive (~$25-$30 each) closet solutions from Walmart as well as the dresser from IKEA I’ve had for several years now. I was home to grab some lunch one day when I heard a crash in one of the bedrooms and found one of the closet solutions had crashed down from the weight of the clothes. I have mostly blazers and long sleeve shirts on that one so I guess it just got too heavy for the plastic end pieces at the bottom.

Today, I went to Home Depot to get some supplies to build my own closet solution. I can now see why they offer such inexpensive closet solutions at Walmart and any other choices are expensive. Here are the parts (from the floor up) I got for my hanging rack. All the parts are galvanized steel.

  • 4 – 1″ floor flange $9.96/ea
  • 4 – 1″ street elbow $4.24/ea
  • 4 – 1″ x 6″ nipple $3.36/ea
  • 4 – 1″ tee $4.56/ea
  • 2 – 1″x close nipple $1.66/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ bushing $2.96/ea
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 36″ pipe $15.58/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 60″ pipe $19.55/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow $2.3.76/ea
  • I also got a pair of pliers that would help me put everything to together. So, the total cost was just at $200.00. Definitely more than the $25-$30 I paid for the others, but hopefully worth it.

    If you’re going to put this together, it’s important that you remember it’s not about making all the joints as tight as they can be but about making sure all the openings line up correctly (90 degree angles). So here’s what I did:

    On both sides of your rack, you have 2 floor flanges connected to the street elbows. Those go into the 6″ long nipple, which connect together using one of the tees (middle joint facing upwards).
    Floor portion

    From there, connect the 1″ x close nipple (I can think of no clean reason why they would call any of these pipes nipples) into the tee and another tee into the nipple (middle joint facing inward).

    Next, I connected the two sides together with the 3/4″ x 36″ pipe (actually also called a nipple) using the 1″ x 3/4″ bushing.

    Here’s where it can start to get tricky. I realized that with a closed “circuit” like this, at some point I’m going to be disconnecting a side as I’m connecting another. If you connect the top portion to the “legs”, there’s no way to connect that to the bottom portion completely, etc. So I connected the 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow to the 1″ x 60″ pipe (again, called a nipple) and connected those to the bottom section (sorry, no picture of that step).

    Then I connected the top crossbar (where my clothes will eventually hang) to one side as far as I could screw it in. Then I pulled the other side over (because of the reducing bushings at the bottom, it’s a touch narrower at the top than bottom) and as I unscrewed the side I just tightened, it screwed in the other. I’m fairly sure it’s at halfway screwed on both sides. Ta da, you’re hanging rack is done!!

    Last tip – you’ll notice as you put this all together, your hands will be filthy. Wet a paper towel with hot water, put one squirt of dish soap on it and wipe down the whole thing. After that, “rinse” by doing the same thing with another paper towel without any soap on it. That second paper towel shouldn’t turn very grey at all.

    Amarillo by Morning

    I’m now in Amarillo and happily living in my house. Except it feels like a big storage unit because it’s still filled with boxes. I’ve gotten quite a bit of unpacking done but there’s still a lot of organizing to do and some of it I can’t get done until I can purchase a few organizational tools and that’s not going to happen until after I get my first paycheck (maybe even second). So, storage unit living it is.

    I have some time and motivation to get stuff done today but I’m finding that I’m not sure what to work on because every project I have to start is going to take more than a day and I don’t want to 1/2 start anything new. So, I wander around my house, trying to figure out what’s next and waste time. In the words of the comic strip Cathy, “ACK!”

    I’ve started band stuff with the leadership and drumline camps last week. Both went very well and I’m really looking forward to getting started with all the kiddos. One foreseeable problem – how am I going to function during marching rehearsal with these insane allergies I’ve developed? And taking allergy medication isn’t working. I’m hoping it’s actually just my body adjusting to the drier air and once my body is used to it, my nose will stop running. It’s really annoying in the mean time.

    Okay, time to wander the house a little more. I do have to do laundry, put away clean dishes and go to the grocery store so I have that.

    Love you, mean it!

    Movin’ right along

    Well, I’m moving. Again.

    In case you didn’t see the FB post, I’ve been hired as the Director of Bands at Tascosa HS, a 5A high school in Amarillo, TX. I’m really excited about the new job! We have a BAND-tastic creative team in place with Daniel Montoya, Jr., composer, Daniel Wiles, drill writer, and Nick Angelis writing the drum book. I have an amazing staff (minus one for the brief moment) and an incredibly supportive administration. What else could a girl want?

    MOVERS. I hate packing and I have a lot of stuff! I have plenty of boxes and packing material and I’m very blessed to have Angela helping me pack this weekend. I’m also very blessed that my current landlord is letting me store my packed boxes in an empty unit in my building. That helps SO MUCH because it gives me room to keep building and packing boxes. I can do this.

    I’m picking up the truck on Monday and the movers are coming Monday afternoon to load the truck and we leave on Tuesday morning for Amarillo via Austin. Clipford has been in Austin with my parents then with my sister and brother-in-law so I’m picking him up on my way to Amarillo on Tuesday.

    Any suggestions on how to move plants? I have quite a few of various sizes that will need to be moved and because I need to leave room in my car for Clipford and his stuff, I don’t think I’ll be able to put them in my car. I’ve put a lot of work into potting and caring for them, I’d hate to leave them behind.

    Okay, I’m grungy and tired so more packing will happen tomorrow. For now, shower then bed. G’night.

    Love you, mean it!

    OPINION: When’s the right time to find the right man?

    There was a recent letter of the editor of the Daily Princetonian about finding a man while you’re in college. It’s received quite a buzz and even had Star Jones and Dr. Nancy Snyderman in quite a heated debate on “Today’s Professionals” segment on the Today Show.

    I can’t say this is a touchy subject for me because I’m very happy with the decisions I’ve made and path my life has taken but it is a subject that’s come up more than once in my life in recent years. I’d like to take a moment to weigh in my opinion about her opinion. By no means is this advice to anyone because your life isn’t the same as mine. This is just my opinion based on the course my life has taken.

    First, I appreciate the brevity of her letter. I hope to be as brief but we all know I’m long winded so read as much as you can muster.

    There are quite a few points I agree with –

  • “Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated.”
  • “Smart women can’t (shouldn’t) marry men who aren’t at least their intellectual equal.” (I agree with this in part.)
  • “once you graduate, you will meet men who are your intellectual equal — just not that many of them.”
  • “But ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn’t as smart as you.” (OH MY GOSH, will it!!!)
  • I’m almost 40, single and currently finishing my Masters Degree. The next step is to find a Doctoral Program that suits my needs (I want to be a college professor at a University that has a strong music education program). Several years before I started the University application processes, I decided that I needed a change and I was willing to make a decision or accept a life change – either someone special would come into my life and I’d settle down to start a family or I’d go on to grad school and concentrate on my career. I was about 35 years old when I came to this decision. Although Brad had come into my life and I was willing to spend my life with him (this all happened after I’d decided to go the grad school route – I was willing to adjust decisions to accommodate life), our life together didn’t work out and we went our separate ways. It still makes me sad but I’ve become okay (kind of) with this. This is the way my life is supposed to be.

    But let me tell you that it’s become more and more difficult to find someone special to share my life with as I’ve become older. I don’t particularly want a built-in family with a prospective relationship. I’d like to have time with him (whomever that may be) to spend by ourselves, to travel and to be able to have time apart as well. I think being able to be alone (or with our own friends without each other) is just as important as being together. I’m not opposed to the concept of marriage (although the prospect of divorce scares me terribly) but I don’t feel the need for the big wedding ceremony. I just want to have the freedom to shout about my love for whomever I’m with from any rooftop I can get up on.

    I had some wonderful relationships that didn’t end well as an undergrad. I wasn’t ready for a long term relationship then. To force one would have ended in divorce (remember my fear of them?) and ultimately the wrong path for me.

    I guess if I had to give any advice about this, I’d have to say, don’t force it. Don’t expect (publicly) an engagement ring because you think “it’s time”. The time will come when it’s really time. If you force it, you will only end up unhappy – if you have kids, they will be unhappy. Life YOUR life, not the life someone has said you should live.

    Love you, mean it!

    There’s no such thing…

    …as a free weekend when you’re in grad school! Here’s what’s due on Monday:

    20th Century Music History:

    • 1964 Timeline – DONE!
    • 1965 Timeline – DONE!
    • Copland composer report – DONE!
    • Create 2 test questions – DONE!
    • Read pgs 50-137 – In progress.
    • Bibliography (so far) – DONE!
    • Paper Outline – DONE!

    I also have to have ready:

    • Lesson plan for Mr. McInturf’s “How To Be A Band Director” class (I’m teaching them about Charms on Monday). – DONE!
    • Lesson plan for Wind Ensemble rehearsal, which includes more score study, of course. – DONE!(can score study ever actually be “done”?)

    Personally, I need to do:

    • Laundry – DONE!
    • Vacuum (it’s getting too hairy on the floors, thanks Clipford)
    • Clean kitchen & grocery shop

    And if the weather clears up a bit, I’d like to swim both Saturday & Sunday. Easy weekend, don’t ya think? Okay, gotta go!!

    Love you, mean it!