April 26, 2009

On Facebook, class reunions, and paranoia

Posted in Random bits at 7:15 am by Jenny Wren

Last week, my mother forwarded an email from a high school classmate of mine. I suppose we were friends, in that we hung out a lot together. It was a pretty small high school (250 students), though, so friend options were rather limited. In fact, there is only one person I went to high school (and elementary school, and college) with that I care to still keep in touch with, and still do keep in touch with, and that’s K, who I talk to and visit whenever I can.

Anyhow, this classmate contacted my mother, who is infinitely more google-able than I am (under my real name), wanting to get in touch with me. My guard immediately went up. I did not have a good high school experience. I know a lot of people say that, and I can’t say my experience was any better or worse than anyone else’s, but I know that I did not enjoy myself. I was the butt of many jokes, some of which were immortalized in yearbooks. Up until my senior year, I was a geeky, short-hair, owl-glasses-wearing kid. Pretty homely and extremely insecure.

It turns out that the reason she wanted to get a hold of me was because our 20-year class reunion is this year. My friend K conveniently “forgot” my phone number and email when she talked to our classmate, which I had asked her to do. See, I don’t really want to be found by those people. I didn’t like most of them in high school, and I don’t care to know them now. Needless to say, I will be skipping the reunion.

Which brings me to Facebook.

I’m late to the Facebook game. I tend to keep a minimal presence online under my real name. Being a teacher, I don’t really want my private life subject to scrutiny by students, parents, fellow teachers, or school administrators. It’s not like anyone who knows me here, on Rav, on Flickr, or from other online places couldn’t figure out who I am, but I try to keep the connections between the online me and the real me separate.

I’ve had a Facebook account for a while under my real name, but haven’t really used it much. I’ve got only a few FB friends, people I either know or blogfriends who know my real name. (BTW, if you DO know my real name, it’s OK to find me over there.) I haven’t seen a need for it, though my friend K and her sister (in the hospital on bedrest because of a complicated pregnancy) have both recently signed up, and since we’re all in different cities, we chat.

I know that makes me findable to my students, but everything is locked down pretty tight, so I can control what they see. I also don’t link here, to Flickr, or to Rav.

It also makes me findable to people I have known in the past. Most people, I don’t mind that. I’ve got college friends that I’ve lost touch with that I wouldn’t mind reconnecting with. But the same cannot be said for high school. So when I finally broke down and entered my HS name and grad year into FB, I was startled and a little paranoid by some of the names that popped up, names I haven’t seen or thought about in 20 years. And it brought back some old feelings that I would rather keep buried. See, I don’t want to be found by those people. I don’t know them now, and don’t care to. Even 20 years later, there is still a huge amount of anger and resentment.

It also brings up a sense of paranoia in me, since really now anyone can find me at any time. Before FB, the only online information about me went to either my school or information about my recent National Board certification. Now, anyone can find me and get a hold of me. I don’t know that I like that. Kind of makes me feel like I’m being watched. Not in a literal sense, of course, but figuratively.

Maybe I need to rethink the whole FB thing.

April 23, 2009

On Drama

Posted in Random bits at 9:51 pm by Jenny Wren

Some random disconnected thoughts that I just need to get out of my head so that I can sleep:

I teach high school. There’s a fair amount of drama involved on all sides. I think I’m good at what I do because, quite honestly, I avoid the drama. I’m willing to listen to kids when they rant and complain about their friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, enemies, teachers, parents, whatever. I am not, however, willing to take sides or offer advice. I’m pretty insecure about my own advice-giving skills, so I stay out of that. And I learned a great lesson many years ago when going through my own personal trauma about the value of having people close to you who didn’t take sides, especially when they’re only hearing one part of the story.

I’ve been blogstalking someone for several years. I generally like what this person has to write, and like being able to look in on their life. But  I’m sensing a development which is leaving me uncomfortable, especially since I know I’m only hearing one part of the story. I want to be able to stand up and yell, “Yeah! You’re so right! He is being a total ass!” But I can’t, because I don’t know the whole story. And I’m reading about things like X used to pull with me, when he had a guilty conscience and was planning to leave me, but I didn’t know it yet. And that’s shitty.

And others are reading this drama, fueling the fire, getting irate and defending the behavior, but also getting defensive. This is why I avoid the drama in general, because it can’t lead anywhere good. And I feel guilty, because I’m reading bits about this person’s LIFE, sneaking peaks, yet gawking like it’s the latest suspense thriller. But the suspense IS someone’s life, and I feel terribly guilty about the gawking. But I still can’t turn away.

I would love to give this person (and several others involved) my opinion and share the parallels I see from my own past, but, really, I DO NOT want to get involved in Other People’s Drama.

Hit Publish or not? Eh, what the hell.

This is why I can’t knit nice things.

Posted in Knit Bits at 4:04 pm by Jenny Wren

Yeah, so, I’ve been working on the Aeolian shawl for what seems like ages now. I’m  using wool from Lamb’s Quarters farm in Waupaca, and the sheepy that it came from is no frolicking in that Great Pasture in the Sky.  It’s a lovely natural wool, spun at Blackberry Ridge in a two-ply sport weight.

Last night, I made it to the third row from the end.

And I ran out of yarn.


I’ve been in denial about the quantity of yarn for a while now. I knew the border chart was going to eat up the yarn, and I had more than half left when I started the border. But it wasn’t enough.

In a fit of despair, I frogged the whole damn thing, rewound the ball,and threw it. The yarn is now sitting in time out. I’ll pick it up again once I feel like we can be on speaking terms.

And, of course, to add insult to injury, after I frogged, I discovered that there’s a set of directions for an alternative border (rav link) which doesn’t use as much yarn. Why couldn’t I have known about this before?


I think I’m going to spin tonight instead of knit. I’m still pretty traumatized about the whole thing.

March 20, 2009


Posted in Home and heart at 11:01 am by Jenny Wren

One year ago today, I married my sweetie in a very small ceremony in our home.

We did it!

I hesitate to say “the love of my life”, because the dissolution of my first marriage left me pretty jaded when it comes to love. I’m still jaded, but I’m glad I was able to open up enough to let him in.

A toast!

Over the last year, I’ve gotten questions about “How’s married life?” To which I can only reply “pretty much the same as unmarried life!” To be quite honest, not much has changed.


But then again we lived together for several years, so this just made it official. And was a darn good excuse for a party and a vacation :)


I really do love him so much.

March 8, 2009

Awww, mom!

Posted in Knit Bits at 8:28 pm by Jenny Wren

She just followed me home!  Can I keep her?  Huh?  Can I?


Meet Joy

February 25, 2009

Week 2

Posted in Random bits at 5:03 pm by Jenny Wren

So, the second week of a broken rib sucks ass too. Not as bad as the first week, but there is still considerable suckage. Fortunately, each day it feels a little better.  Unfortunately, it still sucks.  Did I mention that it sucks?

  1. I’m not sleeping well.  I have a terrible time falling asleep, and once I fall asleep, any little movement on the part of me, S, or the cat wakes me up. It feels like I’ve slept about 20 minutes total since Sunday night.  And since it seems to have been Ambien that caused this whole crazy mess, taking something to help me sleep seems right out about now.
  2. This whole bra thing is driving me crazy. I’ve got one (!) bra with a band loose enough to be able to wear over this silly break, which, unfortunately, is directly under where the band goes.  Very uncomfortable, plus I have to wash that one and only bra all of the time.
  3. The pain is less sharp and more achy. Constantly. No matter how I sit, stand, or lay.
  4. My students keep asking me what’s on my face. It’s a bruise.  Stop staring.
  5. Oddly enough, I feel like I’m going through the stages of grief with this whole thing:
    • Denial: In some ways, it doesn’t really feel like this has actually happened to me. Probably because I can’t remember the actual time of injury itself – I woke up, and was in excruciating pain and couldn’t breathe. It all feels kind of surreal.
    • Anger: I do anger really well.  Yesterday, I woke up pissed off at the world, snarling at everyone in my path. Not sure what was up with that or where it came from.
    • Bargaining: I keep telling myself that this is the catalyst to get me back to the gym – that when I finally heal up, I’m heading back to get myself in shape, since I can’t do it now.  Yeah, whatever.
    • Depression:  Isn’t it obvious?
    • Acceptance:  I’ll hit this one in, oh, about 4.5 weeks!

February 23, 2009

Because I can’t be serious about anything…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:00 pm by Jenny Wren

I’m still hurty, but I’ve managed to get a lot of knitting done. I finished the black socks, and started my next pair.

One down, one to go. Not doing both at once, because this particular pattern doesn’t play well that way. They’re flying along, mostly because they’re on size 2s (which I rarely use).

The pattern is Broken Cable Rib (ha! No, wait, on second thought, not ha. Laughing makes the hurt come back.)

And the yarn? Is WoeCake from Dizzy Blonde Studios.  As in “I’m having a pity party, who’s bringing the WoeCake?”

Pity Party Socks

Nice, huh?

And, yeah, broken ribs still suck ass.

February 18, 2009

Just thinking out loud

Posted in Random bits at 12:40 pm by Jenny Wren

I just need toget some thoughts out so that I can clarify things for myself. Just babbling here. Nothing to see, feel free to move along.

I need to decide by about noon whether or not I’m going to go to work tomorrow. School needs to know so that they can tell the sub whether or not she’ll be there for another day.

Arguments for going:

  1. The pain is definitely less than yesterday. And will hopefully be better tomorrow.
  2. I don’t have much to give my sophomores in the way of work for tomorrow.
  3. I’m getting bored.
  4. I’m worried about students taking too much time off from new things, although their current work is review of material they just recently learned.
  5. I can go for a few hours and leave if I feel like I have to. I’m not bound to staying for the entire day.

Arguments for staying home:

  1. I still hurt. Really hurts when I stand and move around.
  2. I didn’t sleep well last night, and I certainly would be in no shape to teach if I don’t sleep tonight.
  3. I’ve got plenty of work that the juniors can do if I’m not there.
  4. Most movement is painful. Sitting with my back supported is not. And I definitely can’t sit at work for long.
  5. I’m most certainly not indispensable, and they can deal without me for another day.

Arguments that don’t really fit in either category:

  1. Whenever I decide to go back, that first day will HAVE to be a real teaching day with my sophomores.
  2. I don’t know if the pain is bad enough to keep me home another day, or if I’m just being a wimp. I don’t know if I’m just making excuses, or if it’s legitimate.
  3. Honestly? I feel guilty about taking another day off. But I shouldn’t, because that’s what sick days are for.

My gut tells me to stay home, my head tell me to go.

I’m still not sure.

ETA: I decided to stay home. Someone on Plurk made the very excellent point that I can do more damage by working myself too hard too soon, and that made a huge amount of sense to me.

In which I do nothing but whine

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:26 am by Jenny Wren

Seriously?  All I’m about to do is whine here. I suggest you move along. I’d keep all this to myself, but I need a place to vent.

It’s 3:52, and I’m awake. Totally braindead, but awake. The good drugs, fortunately, knocked me out. Unfortunately, they’re not as good as the really good drugs (which make me super nauseus), since I’m awake 6 hours after taking it. Bleh.

The pain comes and goes. The actual point of breakage – I can tell where it is because of the extreme external bruise – fortunately didn’t hurt at all yesterday. Right now it’s become a dull, constant ache.  The real pain is on the side and front, I’m assuming because the rib is floating around and pulling the cartilage from the surrounding ribs.  Whatever it is, it hurts like a nothing I’ve ever felt (and with RA, I’ve felt some pretty awful pain).

Fortunately, if I sit still enough and prop up my right arm a little, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad.  Unfortunately, that gets really boring really fast, and doesn’t solve my need to breathe in and out every few seconds.

Here, enjoy this little picture that I stole from here, and enhanced. Pink shows the broken one. The red splotch is approximately where it’s fractured. It’s a little rough, but my photoshop skills aren’t at their peak at 4:15 am (which it now is).

Apparently the 8th rib is called a “false rib”. I can’t quite grasp why, but that article I linked to above has a brief explanation. It’s somewhere between a true rib and a floating rib. Whatever. It hurts.

Back to whining.

Sleeping wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, except that I have to sleep propped up on the couch, since I can’t completely lay down.

And have I mentioned the bruise on my face yet? Because it’s starting to look really lovely.

And I need to get up and go to the bathroom, except the good meds have left me feeling a little dizzy, so I’m a little leery to stand up right now in case I fall over or pass out again. Which, if I recall, is what caused this little problem in the first place. And S is in the bedroom, on the other side of the house, sleeping, and I don’t want to wake him to come and help me. Guess I don’t need to get up that bad.

Maybe I’ll use my quality nighttime hours to catch up on some of the blog reading I’ve been neglecting.

February 17, 2009

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better

Posted in Rant, Worky bits at 5:20 pm by Jenny Wren

So, I had another (unexpected) day off of work, and will again tomorrow.

And I learned that broken ribs really suck ass.

So I took some ambien last night (so I could sleep well, which I don’t usually) because I was supposed to have a very busy day at work today and needed to be ready.  But I woke up groggy this morning (not usual) and passed out in the shower (very not usual – I’ve never actually fainted before) and cracked the 8th rib on my right side.  Fortunately, the hospital decided that what with the gasping and screaming in pain, I warranted being seen right away, so I didn’t have to wait too long. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for a broken rib except medicate. Big fuckin’ huge Ibuprofen horse pills.  I’ve got some of the good stuff, too, but I’d rather stay conscious for a while, thankyewverymuch.

I also managed to smack the side of my face on the tub, so I’ve got a nice purple bruise forming on my cheek, too.  Lovely.

The good news is that I seem to be able to still hold the pointy sticks. I actually managed to get a small amount knit on the wrap I’m working on.

However, that doesn’t in any way make up for the fact that it really. fucking. hurts. To move, to breathe, to eat, to laugh, everything.

And I didn’t go to work today (and I’m not going tomorrow), which means that the stuff that HAD to get done still HAS to get done, except now I’m waiting for a fellow teacher to deliver the one thing I need to be able to complete the work that HAS to be done today from home.  No, there is no leeway. Fortunately, it’s easy work. Even more fortunately, finishing it will ensure that my 150 little lovlies waiting at school will have something worthwhile to do tomorrow.

Send healing vibes, people.  I need them.

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