In honor of the back to school bash we attended tonight
And because the county is, once again, providing school supplies for students this year, I’m going to list the things I would buy for myself, if I were doing so.
1. Trapper Keeper!
Did you know that Walmart is apparently selling throwback Trapper Keepers?!
Honestly, I wouldn’t even know if my Sister-in-Law hadn’t mentioned it. So I looked them up and they’re only about $11 on the Walmart App. They’re available at some stores and online. I would 100% throw this in the cart. They come with two folders and they are this 80s born 90s raised kids nostalgic dream come true.
Loose Leaf College Ruled Paper
I personally prefer college ruled because you can get more on a sheet. And if you need to skip a line you’re not wasting so much prime real estate. and, I don’t know, graduating from wide ruled to college made me feel important and grown up 😂.
Ticonderoga No. 2 Pencils
The best of the best baby. Most teachers usually request these or USA gold. The lead is good, they erase clearly. Is it good writing, man.
3-hole 2 Pocket Paper Folders
Listen, you can spend the extra dolla hills y’all on the expensive folders, but these here, if taken care of properly, will do just fine. Sure, your Trapper Keeper comes with folders but you will need more than two!
Mead Five Star Five Subject Notebook
Growing up we couldn’t afford to get all four kids one of these puppies, but weren’t you always jealous of the “rich” kids who got the nice Jansport back packs and Five Star Notebooks. Also, remember when they didn’t have holes?
These have been a personal favorite since college. Well, technically, there was another I preferred but, first it was stolen, then returned and then I lost it, and now they don’t make those. But these Paper Mate are my current mechanical pencil of choice. It’s the twist up eraser for me. I also personally prefer the 0.5 lead. Finer lines, though I’m not sure it’s necessary.
Pilot Precise V5 Pens.
You can now get these bad boys in multiple colors. But I couldn’t choose between click or cap. I love both equally. But honestly it’s the needle point that really tickles my fancy. I’ve yet to find a comparable needlepoint pen.
Pen+Gear Gel Highlighters
I know it sounds weird but hear me out. They are fun to use, they glide easily, and they don’t bleed through. Now, sometimes a little extra clumps up, but that’s easily removed. There’s no transfer of wet ink either. A close runner up and honorable mention: Sharpie Brand liquid chisel tip highlighters.
Other Items Of Note
- Block Erasers: for big jobs.
- Index Cards: brand is unimportant, as is size. It’s all what you’re doing with it. Uh…
- Sharpies. If you need an explanation you’re too young.
- Crayons, coloring pencils, markers: always go with crayons unless you expect to use them. Most teachers though, usually prefer Crayola.
- Dry erase Markers: Expo is the best and they’ve been in the biz for years. But honestly it’s about preference.
That’s gonna do it for me tonight, I’m craving school supplies now. Seriously, I have a problem!
This post was last saved on August 11, 2016. I never finished it for whatever reason (mostly because I don’t finish things). But with some addendums and notes!
- Run a marathon (I’d probably have a heart attack)
- Get a tattoo (not brave enough to face the pain lol)
Dye my hair purple (money and maintenance)– I have done this twice in two different ways. A few months before my mom died, I had my hair professionally bleached and had purple added in. More recently, meaning about two or three years ago, I purchased semi-permanent dye and “purpled” it.
- Visit a foreign country (need my passport)
- Go on a safari (goes with #4)
- Own a business (but like, what?)
- Go sailing (I can’t even swim): I HAVE ridden on a ferry to reach the lighthouse were we spread my mom’s ashes. It was a fun ride, but I’m not marking this one off yet!
- Have something I’ve written be really popular! (I’m not that good!) – define popular? Every once in a while, Black Friday: A Zombie Story pops back up.
And now for some additions.
- See the Aurora Borealis in person
- Touch an elephant. I know that wild animals should be left alone and not have unnecessary human interaction. Doesn’t mean I can’t want to. Just means I won’t.
- Learn to play an instrument. I own a ukulele. I don’t try. Maybe a series on the blog?
- Go on a cruise. Not to be confused with sailing, as above.
- Ride a horse. I have been bitten by a horse (apparently, he liked the smell of cigarette smoke–which wasn’t mine).
- See Pink live in concert.
- Make money doing something I love. Not just, “here’s five bucks for that pair of earrings” but “You can quit retail now, because you’re a writer!”
I used to talk to myself a lot about having pipe dreams. You know, dreams that aren’t worth anything but sending down a pipe. I know a lot of things I want to do are unattainable for someone like me. But a dream is something you have to distract you from the nonsense that surrounds you. And never let someone tell you not to dream. You do you, dude.
ProCreate for iPad
I use ProCreate for iPad to create a lot of different images. The BMB banner I’ve used at the top of all the posts was created with Procreate.
I’ve used Canva Pro for a lot of the things you see on my blog. From video intros, to banners, to logos. Several book covers used here were made with Canva.
After my first “I’m Crafty…” video I started using video leap for all of my video editing. I pay for a subscription to access all the features. It didn’t take a whole lot to figure it out, if you’ve worked with video editing before. My first “I’m Crafty…” was made entirely with iMovie, again, on iPad. Voice over was recorded with Voice Memo. Listen, I can’t afford to make this a career, and that means I can’t afford the fancy stuff. All my videos and images are taken with my iPhone.
I’ve used my Cricut and Cricut’s Design software to create a lot of things, from decals for cups I used to make, to decals for my truck. I also used Cricut to create my earring cards for my handmade jewelry. Listen those bad boys took me FOREVER. Because my printer is crap, I had a lot of things I had to do to make it work, and I may or may not have wasted a sheet or two of clear sticker paper.
Spin Wheel Decisions
Completely free wheel spinning app for (you guessed it) iPhone. Yes, it is ad supported but I wasn’t about to spend money on that.
Of course I use Microsoft 365. I use Word to edit any writing I do in bulk, like if I plan on self-publishing. I’m currently using One Note on my iPad to organize all my Pretend Fantasy Novel notes so I have them all in once place.
Frequently Used Websites
- Random Word Generator: I used this with Randomized Fiction, and on “The Bug Catcher”. And to be honest I’ll probably use it again.
- WordPress: Of course I have to mention WordPress. They’ve been my website host since before I had my own domain name. Pretty sure its been YEARS. To he honest I’ve considered other hosting services, because money. But it turns out I know wordpress pretty well and, honestly, I’ve put a lot of work in.
I’m Sure There’s More
But these are my most frequently used apps websites. I won’t even list social media, as well I spend to much time there anyway! For now, its time to sign off. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting for tomrrow!
As I’ve said, I think about it on the daily.
Oh a daily basis, I am thinking about the story. And many different aspects related to the story. But between my many obligations, real and manifested, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to work on it.
After BMB is over I plan on attempting to work on it more. I need to come up with a title, and well, I need to write the stupid thing.
Now, many moons ago, I could write on something without having all the details at once. I could just put pen to paper or finger to keys and go at it. But now, with the invention of sharing it with others I think I have created for myself accountability that leads to failure.
Before, I could write and not expect anyone to read it. Before, I could shove it into a corner for a few months and return to it when I wanted to. Now, however, I struggle with giving myself deadlines. I think that people expect me to get it done and do an amazing job.
When this month is over
And I don’t have this whole month of blogs to worry myself over, I am taking a sabbatical of all social media, including tick tacks, and I am just going to write. I have 9,000 ideas in my head and they need to be put down somewhere.
But, I mean, don’t, like, get your hopes up. We all know how I am!
Cause I’m crazy and wanna see how long it takes?
To be honest, a few coworkers have showed interest in Black Friday: A Zombie Story. Thought I had a few copies at home for sale, but I didn’t. So I went on Kindle Direct Publishing to see how much it’d cost to buy a few copies.
Turns out I was in the middle of updating the book and had to go through some things. But I realized, since KDP doesn’t have a mobile site, I needed a computer.
I felt more like being lazy in bed than sitting at my desktop. So I thought let’s whip out the old maid.
Several minutes later
It didn’t take as long as I expected to boot up. Once I put in my WiFi password the date updated. I had just logged into KDP when The Kid woke up and came to my room with her bedsheet in hand like she was gonna sleep with me. So here I am laying next to her until I know she’s out, with a possible fire hazard on my bed.
I don’t know why the laptop would be a fire hazard, she’s old?
Anyway I have a feeling I’m not gonna get much out of it. It was purchased in the Windows 7 era. It has windows 10, because of a free update. Heck, she sports The Sims 2.
Also, I battery life was trash before I got the desktop, not that I traveled with her much. It shocker, it’s actually charging, considering at boot up it gave me an error.
Another item of note: WordPress.com, my website host, will not load on it. I’ve tried Firefox, my browser of choice, and Microsoft Edge. I mean I guess that’s what it is. In fact this website “CrashdLanding.com” struggled to load. It also, in fact, continues to say “not responding”.
My leg is quite warm
The temperature of the computer in my lap is going up, a significant amount of apps start their processes in “not responding” mode. But there’s still quite a bit of exploring to do. Especially considering there’s music on here I forgot about!
I’m gonna continue to explore this massive old mountain of my past and see what I stumble upon. But I’ll tell ya right now I’m not gonna last long. Ya girl is sleepy.
“Something terrible has happened.” I told my husband. Of course I warned him that the terrible thing isn’t terrible in the sense of, say, someone died. But terrible in the sense of, utter shock.
Against my will and best wishes I have been bluntly reminded that time stops for no man, and no matter how hard you wish to believe, things will change, and children will grow. Whether you like it or not.
My niece, the first female grandchild to be born into the family, has gotten her period.
Now, in ten or fifteen years, when she’s old enough to register that her wealthy, famous, philanthropic aunt (I’m pretending here) has a blog, and she’s spent a late night reading though the old archives of said blog, she will be utterly embarrassed that I told the internet she got her period. And I look forward to her cringe-face when she does.
Of course, unless you know either of us, you won’t know her name or anything about her other than her “coming of age”, as I intend. Except for, of course, her age. Which happens to be a part of the reason why I’m so distraught.
SHE’S HOW OLD?!
You see, she’s nine. NINE. NINE. FREAKING. YEARS. OLD. When did this start happening before a kid reached the decade mark?! I was at least 12, maybe 13. That was also a million years ago.
How is it a child’s body can become mature before they mature mentally. That isn’t to say she’s not smart, my niece. But she’s also a huge goofball, loud, and stubborn. Of course all that is natural in our line of women, but still. I can look at her and know she’s not ready for this.
And yet there is no magic pill or injection with yearly booster that can pause the development of a person until their brain reaches the right stage of growth. If anyone knows of such a thing still in R&D, hit me up. I have a pickle jar of change to lob at the nearest scientist.
And the simple fact that this country, this would, is not currently built with women, especially young fertile women, in mind, makes this all the more gut wrenching.
Of course my mind goes straight to the 10 year old who was raped and sought an abortion. The fact that the violation of a child barely a decade into life happened is one disgusting matter. But knowing that there are people out there who would rather risk the 10 year old’s life and force her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, chills me to my core.
If some low life with a protruding part and an evil idea in his head chose to harm my niece, she could not only be a victim, but forced into that burden as well.
Not that, between myself, my sister, and my brother-in-law, the perpetrator would love to see another day. (Legally I feel like I should say that we are in no shape, form, or fashion, planning to, nor have we committed any sort of crime.)
Parents: educate your children
Male or female or whatever. Educate your kids. while I know my sister has already started the conversation well before “tragedy” struck, there’s still more to come.
Men and boys have it easy. The thought that my niece has to experience Aunt Flo’s monthly visit now and until menopause, makes my heart hurt for her. Boys don’t have to deal with it. They get the whole change of voice, they get taller, and facial hair that society doesn’t tell them is gross and should be promptly removed. Girls have to start buying special products that cost way more than something we have to have should.
My sister and I are talking about having a conversation with my niece, as women. I hope to be ready for it, so we can help her with this gawdawful transition.
It has occurred to me
That because of this new path she has to travel in life, and the small but evident age gap between them, she and my child, who have been so close, close enough for The Kid to call my niece her “best friend”, might grow apart. That’s not to say I think my niece will change overnight. But it’ll be an experience they cannot share in just yet.
It also reminds me that in roughly two years The Kid could be going though the same thing.
Hopefully by then I’m on sufficient amounts of medically prescribed “assistance” to get me through the whole thing.
The Process First
So there I was. Minding my own business. It was warm, the sun was out, a beautiful day. The best days are sunny days, to be honest. I was sitting on this blade of grass when I heard something. Well, felt it really. The ground beneath me shook. I thought maybe I should run away.
But I didn’t, the sun was just right in this spot, and I knew there was something just tasty nearby. But then the noise got bigger. And closer. Then the sun suddenly disappeared from above me. I could see it, way over, still shining on the grass. but above me, it was gone.
So, reluctantly I turn around and look.
There was this enormous thing standing over me. It had four legs but only stood on two. It held things and it stared down at me.
I froze in my spot, like the had gone to bed for the season, and I should have gone to bed, but it wasn’t time for the sun to go to bed. And this thing stood over me.
Then I heard some nonsense. I think it was something communicating with the thing that stood over me, it wasn’t a sound I recognized. It was different.
(Come back here, Todd! It had said. How do his legs move faster than mine he’s smaller!)
That’s when I moved. I leaped a great leap and then another. But the thing with its giant legs came after me, big things are faster I learned that. So I leaped again and again. And I heard another noise.
(Giggling. Todd was giggling.)
I turned to look, because I was back in the sun again, surely I was safe now. But no, the humongous thing was there, and the thing at the end of one of its legs, it came down fast. I was caught in the thing it held.
(Todd, have you caught something? Please don’t be another spider. I hate spiders.)
The thing I was caught under lifted, just a little, and I tried to leap away again, but it was useless. It had me for good.
(Oh, it’s a grasshopper. He’s a small one too. Ok, I guess you can keep him for a bit. Need help with the bucket?)
Then I saw the other thing, it was much bigger.
(Here, scoop him up. Now dump him in. That’s right. The lid, put it on so he can’t get away. Good job! Now you can look at him!)
I was in something, but I couldn’t see it. It had a top and a bottom, and I could see everything around me, but when I tried to leap, I hit something I couldn’t see. Then in front of me was the thing that got me. It stared at me.
(Todd giggles. Yep, see his legs? He can jump very high with those! And see the black dots! His eyes, yeah!)
I tried to jump more, but new it was pointless. I was stuck. Going nowhere fast. And it was hot and still in here. I missed the sun, I missed the grass. I missed the air. The pleasant grass. The safe grass where giant things did not chase me.
(Yeah, he’s cool, right? Yep. Okay, we should let him go now. No, we can’t keep him! You wouldn’t like living in a bucket, would you? Right. Let’s open it up.)
Then, suddenly, there was more air and the sun came through the top! Freedom, I needed to make my escape! I leapt toward the sun and the air!
(Oop. He’s ready to go! Did you see that?)
The things’ noises got smaller and further. and finally I was back on my grass! The air was blowing and I was safe! The sun was shining. I will remember the ordeal always. Oh, but now I’m hungry.
Hello and welcome back to “Oops Crystal Is Doing It Again”. The show where I let the tiniest seed of an idea slip into my head that I might still be able to be a teacher.
Ah yes. All the factors are there. Talking about teaching. That’s it. That’s all it takes. oh and Back-To-School has begun in Retail Establishment. Actually probably at all retail establishments.
Backstory for those who might not know
Hi, I graduated from one of my states top teacher colleges in 2007. Approximately 15 years ago. I had wanted to be a teacher for most of my life (that and a writer). And I made amazing plans for myself.
But then I got stupid and have been working retail ever since.
I have made NUMEROUS half-hearted attempts to get back into it over the years. I substituted for a while, I even interviewed. Once, 1,000 years ago. I’ve started stuffing for the praxis (two separate tests I needed to take to renew a thing) about a million times.
Between exhaustion and depression, parenting and a full-time job, I pretty much only have the energy to stare at my phone all day (you should see my house. Better yet, please don’t you’d have me committed or something).
A few months back I made the mistake of looking at job openings, not to teach but anything to get my into a classroom. And, of course, I was let down. Because even if I could have gotten the job, I wouldn’t have been able to pay my bills.
And part of the reason I’m in this mess is because I didn’t want to burden my husband with bills.
You see, I graduated in December 2007. Student loan companies give you a six month grace period before your payment comes due. My student loan came due July 2008. I got married in October 2008. I did not want my new husband to have to pay my student loan anymore (my parents paid it before that). So ya girl got her first real big girl job. IN. RETAIL.
I told myself, “I’ll be here six months and I’ll get a teaching job.”
Well 13+ years later and I’m still there. I’ve jumped around a few times in where I worked in the building. But I never left, no matter how much I want to some days.
And because I have been there for more than a decade, I’m making more than what “entry level” pay would be for any “non-certified” position in my local districts school system. And because I’m making what I am, my expenses have increased to match.
Meaning… I make just enough to pay my bills but not have nice things. Which also means that if I drop in pay in any significant way, then I will not be able to pay said bills.
The only way I would let myself commit such a stupid act is if by some miracle I woke up to roughly $25,000 to pay off all my outstanding debt. That’s not including the services I pay for. That or my husband some how gets a really big raise.
See, I’m very very lucky in a lot of ways. First, my husband’s income provides a LOT for us. The only shared things I pay for are Netflix, Cellphone (which he contributes to) and daycare.
The remainder of my bills is literally my own stupid decisions, namely credit cards and a truck payment. Somehow this post turned into a very depressing financial post. And that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about teaching. And why I can never.
First off, since it has been 100 years, in education years, since I graduated, a lot has changed. State standards, requirements for being an educator, and even technology.
There also used to be alternative routes to becoming an teacher in my state.
But, Crystal, why would you need an alternate route?
*Knocks everything off the table in anger*
BECAUSE. Because it’s been 15 years since I’ve learned anything. And in that amount of time, I’ve forgotten things. There might even be different standards to getting certified in the state. That’s where I screwed my self over, again.
I made the terrible mistake of looking at these routes, and imagined the possibility of taking one of these paths, and becoming a teacher.
This is starting to feel like, like infertility. Like wanting a baby and getting so close to it that you take a test and it says positive, but you have to wait for the doctor to tell you, “you’re not pregnant.”
(Do not take it the wrong way I am not comparing it to a miscarriage, I’ve never had one but know how devastating it would be.)
And because I keep letting myself fall back into this vicious cycle
I haven’t given myself any real chance to accept it, mourn, go through the stages of grief, and get all the way to acceptance. And because of that, I keep telling myself teaching might have been the one thing I could have been great at. The one thing where I could have made a difference.
And it is all, every single aspect of the entire disappointing situation, is all my own stupid fault. It has all been my absolute terrible decision making skills that have lead me down this path. A path away from what could have been an amazing and I’m wonderful career but instead to a “Same thing every day never making a single step in a positive direction” job.
I am grateful for my job. There are people out there that would kill for my job with my pay, because I do make decent money. I am glad I can pay my bills and sometimes scrape together a few dollars to buy The Kid a thing.
But just like always, I had big dreams and poor follow through. My situation is my own and I need to accept it.
I’d like to apologize for this rant of a post. In the coming days there should be some more interesting posts. I hope you stick around.
Thanks for reading
“I say, I’m the oldest, I make the rules!” Ed said, slamming his hands down in the table, disrupting the sheets and forms atop it.
“And I say we go with my idea!” Bea said, crossing her arms over her chest.
“And I say we charge in with guns blazing and tear the place UP! WOOHOO!” Xavier said gesturing with dual finger guns raised
The elder two looked at him like he was crazy. He always was a little wild, ever since they were little.
“Okay, okay,” Ed began again, after a minute. “Let’s maybe grab a snack, sit down, and we’ll talk this out.”
“Fine.” Bea reluctantly agreed.
After they’d all eaten, and were no longer hangry. They got back to planning.
“Now that we’re all done with that,” Ed began, I say we just start at the beginning.”
Bea and Xavier nodded in agreement.
“What’s the mission again.” He asked them.
“I still say gu—.”
Xavier crossed his arms. “Fine.” He mumbled.
“If it comes down to us needing guns then something has gone terribly wrong.” Ed said.
“But it probably wouldn’t hurt, just for protection, just in case.” Bea said.
Xavier’s eyes lit up. “I know just who to ask!” They all knew who he’d ask.
“Okay, we’ve satisfied someone, now, back to the important part.” Ed said. “How are we going to get the painting back?”
The painting in question was one by their famous aunt, C.F. Keathley. It was called, “A Woman’s Wish”. The subject was a lighthouse on a cliff. It wasn’t her best work, but it had meaning. It also had a hidden secret. The painting had been accidentally sold at an estate sale two years prior. Their aunt had gone missing and was declared legally dead by her husband, their evil uncle. Because of her fame, the painting fetched a hefty price, and the uncle and soon moved to Japan with his new wife.
“Sofia gave us the name of the person who has it, he’s a museum curator, right?”
“Yes, his name is Roderick Bridges.” He said, looking at a sheet of paper. “He runs the Umbratic Museum of Modern Art.” Ed said, “Apparently he’s wanted to have a installation of Aunt C’s art there for years.”
“Umbratic is a weird word.” Bea said. She googled it. “It means shadowy. That’s questionable.”
“Not funny ha ha, funny weird.” Xavier said. “I’ve contacted Pops. He’ll have what we need ASAP.” The elder too nodded. Pops was code name for their supplier. He got them what they needed when they needed it. He was also a cantankerous old man, stubborn and set in his ways. “He said it’ll cost us, though.”
“He always says that.” Bea said.
“Okay, back to the plan.” Ed said. “We need to get into the museum, find the painting, and get it out.”
“First we need to figure out where it is.” Bea said. “Its been two years since it sold, it could be on display, or still in storage. Or maybe he’s had it cleaned.” She opened up the Umbratic’s website. “It says here they’re having a gala in two days, introducing an exhibition called, “Missing in Art” featuring works created by artist who are missing or deceased.”
“That would be a really big exhibition.” Ed said.
“Right?” Bea agreed. “Anyway, there’s a few of Aunt C’s paintings on display, including the lighthouse!”
“We need to get into that Gala!” Ed said.
“Wait,” Bea said, pausing. “Does that mean what I think it means?”
“FANCY DRESSES?!” Bea asked, wide eyed.
“Fancy dresses,” both boys said in unison.
She squealed loudly.
“You want Pops to get that too?” Xavier asked.
“NO!” The two eldest agreed.
From there they had the whole thing figured out.
Scope out the museum two days before the gala, get a feel of the place, possibly security. They would join the gala; it was established that Pops could obtain the tickets. At the gala they would cause a ruckus, an important skill they’d honed as children. Xavier, who probably shouldn’t have knives, would find a way to remove the painting from it’s frame.
“What if there’s some type of sensor in the frame in case of theft?” Xavier asked.
“The alarms will already have been raised by this point, the only problem would be if you’re fast enough.”
“Oh, that’s not a problem.” He winked.
“Good, because this whole plan is hinging on your speed,” Bea said.
“No, the whole plan is hinging on whether or not that painting holds the information we need to find C and Mom.”
Procrastination slapped me right in the face and said, “just don’t do anything at all” and i listened. I managed to get it written and posted by midnight but added some things after, like the images. Once I got started I really enjoy the idea, so I might make any more I add to this short story part of premium. Let me know what ya think!
Thanks for Reading.-