Friday, July 29, 2022

Word Ladder

I've got another random quiz for today. (I went to Sporcle and clicked on "random quiz".) And the first one to pop up was...

Word Ladder: Elementary Particles

A word ladder is when each word differs from the word before (or the word after) by one letter. This doesn't have to be in order, so find the one in the list you know, type in the word in the box, and then work backwards or forwards. 

I scored 20/23 or 87%. Not bad. I really should have known the ones I missed though.

Good luck. Let me know how you did in the comments.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

So Hot

Today's repost from December 5, 2018 is about current slang. Because I don't often really pay attention to the terms the kiddos use, but I do hear them. Enjoy.

World history class at the continuation high school. They're doing a unit on the Holocaust. They were working on a vocabulary assignment in Google Classroom.

Because it was the continuation high school, most of them weren't doing much of anything. I was doing my usual rounds, trying to get them to make some sort of progress.

I came up on one boy who was on his phone. I questioned what he was up to. He told me that he had started the assignment, but when he opened his Google doc, his assignment had disappeared.

I completely understood. Trying to troubleshoot the problem, I asked the usual questions. He opened the Google doc to show me his assignment wasn't there... And his assignment popped up. His work had saved.

"It made me so hot when it wasn't there. I wasn't going to start it over."

And my ears perked up. "Hot"? He meant angry. Mad.

I did not know that hot was now a synonym for mad. Okay, then.

And, wouldn't you know it, other students used hot to mean angry that same day. It came up a couple times. The usage makes a certain amount of sense.

So, as you go about your day, see if you hear someone using hot to mean angry. I'm curious as to how widespread this now is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Last Movie Stars

I've kind of been scrambling, trying to figure out what to feature this week on my Wednesday What to Watch. I've pretty much talked about everything I've seen (that I'm willing to recommend). I mean, I'm watching a couple of other things, but I'm more in the meh camp on them (or I've already discussed them in previous years). 

Then, on Saturday, I started The Last Movie Stars on HBO Max. And this seems to be about my speed right now.

Ethan Hawke explains everything in the trailer: 

(If you didn't watch the trailer, Hawke explains that there were a series of interviews Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward had done in the '80s. The tapes were burned. But, they were transcribed first. So, he got his famous friends to read the transcripts for the show.) 

So far, I'm only two episodes in, but it's fascinating. (And it's the perfect thing to watch while I'm untangling yarn. That's a whole 'nother story.) It's a great behind-the-scenes view of a famous couple.

I hope everyone is finding interesting things to watch.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Records

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if there was a database people could access that contained everything you've ever read, looked up, and/or researched?

Monday, July 25, 2022

A Finished Headscarf

That was a quick knit. I finished Autonomy:

It would have taken me exactly a week, but I needed an extra day to do the tassel. 

Of course, now that means I need to find something else to work on. Sigh. 

But it does, in fact, fit. I took this selfie of the top of my head, so I apologize for the quality of the photo: 

It's actually a good summer knit. It's perfect for holding my hair back.

Friday, July 22, 2022

TV Shows that Jumped the Shark

I've got another random quiz for today. (I went to Sporcle and clicked on "random quiz".) And the first one to pop up was...

TV Shows that Jumped the Shark

In case you're not familiar with the term, it's when a TV show has passed its prime. Before, the show was good. After, it's time for the show to end. (These shows are US shows.) 

I got 18/22 or 82%. Considering that I got a few from TV shows I never watched, I'm good with that average. Let me know how you did in the comments. (And I understand if you skipped it.)

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Summer Daze 13


Now that I'm fully on vacation, I figured it was time to get some car maintenance done. So, last Monday afternoon I dropped off my car. I knew they wouldn't start on it until Tuesday, but my car would have been blocked in Tuesday morning unless I left really early. And I'm on vacation, so I'm not getting up early without a very good reason. (Car maintenance isn't that great of a reason.)


So, naturally, on Tuesday I got called to work. The alternative education center opened last Wednesday for their summer session, and for the third summer in a row, they were short a teacher

I turned them down. Save for a couple weeks here and there, I've been working continuously since July of last year. I really just want some day-to-day subbing if I'm going to work at all until August. 


I asked the garage to check the brakes on my car. They said they were fine. But there was a noise that concerned them. They took a day to diagnose the problem. What did they find? The brakes needed replacing. As I had an inkling they would. (It's time.)


I bought some new summer clothes. And one of the pieces I got was a skort. Yup, the '90s are back. 

I had been looking for some skirts just for something cooler to wear than my usual capris. I was shopping online. In the skirts section, I found the skort. And I knew I had to have it.

It arrived midweek. 


Mid June, my computer decided to be difficult. My mouse stopped working. Well, I mean, it worked. It just did this weird jumping thing where when I'd try to click on something, it would activate something completely unrelated as the cursor was on the wrong item on screen. 

Luckily, I had a corded mouse to put in its place. That's been working. But I suspect the issue might be resolved, so it might be time to plug the old cordless mouse back in. I'm hesitant, though. 


The other thing that happened right around the same time was my computer stopped connecting to the WiFi. Usually, I open the computer, and it connects. 

I could get the WiFi to connect, but only after I'd turn off the internet and turn it back on. This is fine for a one-off, but once it started happening daily, I knew there had to be a better solution.

When I had time, I actually got the whole thing reset on my computer. I'm not sure exactly what I did in Settings, and I had to do it twice before it took. Once I restarted the computer, after I had done the reset, (for the second time), the issue resolved. It's been about week, and the computer is still connecting to the WiFi automatically. Fingers crossed that it keeps up.


Apparently, the message that COVID infections are increasing has gotten out. I just got back from grocery shopping, and suddenly, mask wearers were in the majority. (I've been wearing my mask all along. It was nice to have company.) I haven't seen it like that in months.


I have to get out when the getting's good. This is also why I had to take my car in Monday afternoon.

My landlady is having her bathroom redone. They've been working on it since May. Because of the parking situation around here, when the guys arrive to do the work, my car is blocked in. I mean, if I really have to leave, I can ask them to move their truck, and then I can get out. But I'd rather not bother them if it's something like a grocery run, especially when they generally leave early enough that me getting my shopping done after isn't a problem.


I was in the middle of writing #6 when I heard the guys leave. I finished writing #6, got dressed, and left. It was earlier than I was expecting, but all they had to do today was put up some wallpaper. They're almost done with that bathroom.


Last weekend I got to try out my new skort. And man... I absolutely loved it. It was way cooler than my capris. And I looked way more pulled together. I loved it so much I immediately went online and ordered another. 


I've been slowly decluttering. On a whim I bought some storage boxes. I only got two thinking I wasn't going to be able to use more. I liked them so much, I knew I was going to need more.

The two I bought were on sale for 25% off. Not being sure when the sale ended, I made sure to go back the next day to get more. And sure enough, that was the last day of the sale. I'm so glad I didn't wait any longer. Although, if I end up needing more, now I'll have to pay full price.


I'm not sure how I'm going to rearrange things yet. But I did clear out my school bag. I've gotten rid of some catalogs that were lingering. It's slow going, but I have some time now since I'm not working. 


This is why most of my Thursday posts are reposts during the summer. But occasionally I like to check in with a Thursday 13 to talk about what's going on in the day-to-day. Feel free to join in if you have a list of thirteen things, random or not.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The Offer

I am still on summer blogging schedule even though I was called to take on another class. I turned it down. (I am taking some time off. If next school year is anything like this past one, I'm really going to need to rest up.) Which means it's again time for me to recommend something to watch. 

I have never seen The Godfather. I was too young when it came out, and I just haven't gotten around to it since. Maybe someday.

But that didn't make me any less interested in The Offer

It just looked interesting. So, I dove in.

The Offer is the true story of the making of The Godfather. And really, I had no idea. 

We're talking the mafia. They did not want this movie made. 

Plus, I had no idea what a producer actually does. I'm sure this limited series only scratched the surface, but all the stuff that Al Ruddy had to deal with just in the plot of the show makes me appreciate producers so much more. It's a lot. Really. 

I primarily subscribed to Paramount Plus for Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Fight. I had planned to cancel the subscription once I was caught up on everything. Now I'm glad that I kept it around for a bit.

Check out the trailer:

I finished this one a couple months back. Sigh. That's the thing I don't like about streaming things. You find something. You finish it. And then you're stuck looking for something else to watch.

Any recommendations? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if we could halt or even reverse climate change, but we all had to give up our cars?

Monday, July 18, 2022

First Week on Autonomy

I started knitting away on Autonomy

It's a fairly quick knit. At this time last week, I hadn't even started the thing. We'll see if my swatch was adequate. (I have a tendency to be very, let's call it relaxed, with my swatches, at least when it comes to things that are just for me. There's a possibility the fit might not be quite right.) 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Literary Zings

It's time for another random quiz.

And by "random", I mean I clicked on the little "random quiz" button on Sporcle and came up with: 

Finish That Insult: Literature Quiz

Click on the phrase that finishes the insult in the question. You've got 7 minutes (and I was going slow and managed to finish). Some are kind of obvious. Some, not so much.

I got 22/25 or 88%. Not too bad, really. Let me know how you did in the comments.

Thursday, July 14, 2022


Summer schedule means today is #ThrowbackThursday. Today's post is from September 29, 2016. And boy, do I remember this particular oopsie! What I didn't admit at the time (but it's been long enough now that I can say) was that how I actually fixed this was to scrounge in the teacher's desk and find her username and password for her computer. Cheating, sure. But it solved the problem.

11th grade U.S. history. The teacher had found several video clips on YouTube that showed what life was like at the turn of the Twentieth Century. She left shortcuts on the main screen of her laptop, and everything was plugged in and ready to go.

In preparation, I opened each video in a new tab. And then... I shut the laptop...

...thus engaging the automatic lock.

Did I mention that the computer was logged in under the teacher's name? With a password I did not have.

I realized the stupidity of closing the laptop the instant after I did it.

(Why did I close the laptop? I'm not sure. I think I was trying to engage the blank screen. But who knows? I think I'll blame it on the cold I was coming down with.)

At least I had the brains to do this right before the prep period the period before I needed the videos. So, I had time to piece something together.

Some days I have it all together. And then other days I'm the stupid sub who screws it all up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Gentleman Jack

Now that I'm actually, officially on summer vacation, it's time to bring back the summer schedule. So, that means on Wednesdays, I talk about something I'm watching on TV. 

The time is 1832, and the place is Halifax, England. Anne Lister is a busy landowner and world traveler. She's also a lesbian. And she's just gotten her heart broken. Her latest girlfriend just married a man. 

Gentleman Jack is based on the diaries of the real Anne Lister. I stumbled upon this show on HBO Max after seeing a trailer for season 2. And I thought, that looks interesting. 

It was.

There are two seasons of eight episodes each. I have no idea if there will be a third season. 

The first season details Anne's dealings with her tenants, fellow landowners stealing the coal on her land, her relationship with her sister and family, her travel, and her ambitions. And Anne decides to pursue a local heiress. 

I found the whole thing fascinating. 

Take a look and see if you might find it interesting.

Alas, now I have finished it, and if there's a third season, I have probably a year (or more) to wait. Does anyone have any good shows to recommend to me?

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Too Much

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if all of this *gestures wildly* is just a distraction?

Monday, July 11, 2022

A New Project

I've been knitting away on the Calash scarf for a while now. While it's going fine, I like to have a few projects going at one time so I can switch things out at the tedious moments. 

So, when I saw this tweet the other day:

I was instantly curious.

(I had read that green was the color for abortion rights. I was curious about the pattern.)

I found the pattern page here. And the design looks doable.

I went through my stash in search of green yarn. I don't have exactly the right shade, but I have quite a bit of green. I narrowed it down to these choices: 

When I took the picture, I was thinking I'd use the yarn on the top. The yarn on the left bottom is the yarn I used for niece's tank top. But the more I look at it, the more I like the one on the bottom right. 

I mean, I could swatch all three and see which one works up the best. 

It's time to start a bunch of projects. This way, when I get busy again, I'll have things to work on. The starting is what takes the most mental energy. (The finishing takes a bit, too, but not nearly as much as the starting.) 

Of course, I'm just ignoring what I'll do with the bandana after I finish it. It's not like it has a home. But I'll worry about that later.

Friday, July 8, 2022

The Grade Reports

For summer school, we weren't assigning grades. We teachers got to write little paragraphs about each student that then went home on a little progress report. The only number score was the words they read in a minute, both on the first day of school and towards the last. 

(Don't ask me how long that took. You don't want to hear me whine about it.) 

We were to send the progress reports home with the students on the last day. 

As I was in a borrowed classroom, I had no supplies. My aide went and found me a stapler. I went through and folded each progress report, wrote on the outside "to the parents of", and I stapled them shut. 

Near the end of first period, I passed them out to the students. 

And, of course, the inevitable happened. 

Every single student opened their progress reports. Every. Single. One.


Why did I bother to staple the things? 

What did the numbers mean? One student was trying to make a 74 into a percentage. But another student's 126 then didn't fit that narrative. 

"Remember sitting with me and reading those paragraphs for a minute? The score is how many words you read in that minute." 

They had done their post assessment the previous day, so it wasn't like they didn't remember. 

It wasn't like there wasn't anything in the reports that they shouldn't see. However, I could not explain their math grades. (I didn't know what assessment they had done for that.) 

Summer school is now over. Now I really get to take a summer vacation. 

(Maybe. The alternative education center starts up next week and the continuation high school starts the week after that.) 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Surprise A

On the penultimate day of summer school, I gave the students a figure-out-your-grade assignment. I wanted them to spend some time looking at how not doing the work (or doing the work) impacted their final point total.

Well, actually, I needed them to work on something while I was calling them up and individually having them do their post assessment reading. (Yes, I gave them busy work.) 

After everyone had done their reading, I went through the assignment to see what everyone had come up with. 

There was a note from Delilah. "I don't know if my grade is an A I don't think I added right?" 

I glanced at her totals. The A looked reasonable. She had turned in most of her work. 

After calculating their grade, I had questions for them to answer. First I asked if the grade surprised them and if they were happy with it. Delilah: "I'm happy about it but I don’t think I calculated right?". 

Then I asked what they could do to improve their grade. Delilah: "Calculate correctly, I think i'm just saying this because I never had an A in english!"

She did, indeed, have an A in English. (I double checked with a calculator while writing this post. Yup, it's an A.) 

Alas, we weren't assigning grades for the summer school. They got written progress reports. Having them calculate what their grade would have been was more so they'd get an object lesson in what doing or not doing their work nets them grade-wise. 

But they did get bragging rights. Delilah could totally tell her parents that she got an A in English in the summer. Just because it wasn't recorded anywhere doesn't mean it doesn't count. (It's not like middle school grades remain on their transcripts anyway.) 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Illustrating the Lesson

I pretty much put the entire summer school class on Google Slides. It's way easier than writing things on a whiteboard. I could project examples and do work with them. It made many things easier. 

I have been learning all sorts of interesting tricks to Google Slides. One of them was how to put gifs into the slides so there's movement on each slide. As soon as I figured out that trick (or rather as soon as I looked up how to do it), I put up some gifs every day. 

Gifs like: 

The last one was the gif I used with the question, "What would you like to be famous for?" 

And it was up on the screen when Mr. V, the summer school principal, walked in. 

Is South Park middle school appropriate? Probably not. 

I mean, I wasn't showing South Park. If he read the rest of the slide, he'd have seen how it went with what we were doing.

Mr. V did question the gif. He questioned if the students knew South Park. One of them said they had heard of it. 

But then Mr. V went on to make the announcement to the class that he had come to do. And he left. 

I guess I should be more careful of what gifs I use. 

I mean, the gif itself wasn't inappropriate. I wouldn't put up an inappropriate gif. 

Why didn't Mr. V walk in when I had up the gif of the flag? Or the ice cream cake? Or the car driving along a road? I had plenty of innocuous gifs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Bullies

Speculative fiction has a long history of taking the issues of the day and reframing them in a new context with the hope that people will look at them in a new way. Our "unprecedented" times are bringing all sorts of old ways and old thinking back to the forefront. On Tuesdays, I present "what if?" questions. Previously, the intent was as an idea generator. It still is. But now, I ask that you really think about all the repercussions that these ideas will have. If only these were just thought exercises. 

What if no one stands up to the bullies who think they own everything, letting them do what they want, pooping all over the place and making our home a mess?

While the question is general on purpose, it was prompted by the Canadian geese who take up residence in my condo complex during the spring and early summer. But apply "bully" to whomever you like.

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Mess

The current state of my "knitting box":

This is the spot where I store all my works in progress. If I take out the Calash scarf:'s still an awful mess.

This is one of the reasons why I'm not doing much yarn-wise lately. I think my first order of business is to clean out the box. 

I still have balls of yarn from projects that have been completed. Anything I may be starting is buried under yarn I'm not using. And I'm not sure what's in there anymore. 

Perhaps once I unbury myself, I'll be more in the mood to actually figure out projects and do something. But unburying is a project. This will be my goal for the coming week.

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Holiday

Juneteenth is a brand new holiday. (It only became a holiday last year.) It's so new that it took the summer school administration completely by surprise. 

June 19th was a Sunday. A lot of places took the holiday on the following Monday. We did not.

The summer school principal came to see me at the beginning of Monday. He said he had gotten five calls already about whether the day was a holiday or not. It hadn't occurred to him to send out an email saying that we would have school. 

He wasn't sure how many students would show up. 

I actually wasn't missing very many. And because summer school is so short, it wasn't like I could really skip the lessons for the day. 

I assume they'll be better prepared for Juneteenth next year. They'd better be. It will actually fall on a Monday.