Our power finally came back on last night. We were without for a full week total. I called Dominion yesterday and asked what had happened. She told me in a very rude tone that the time of 9 PM Friday was just an estimate and was subject to change. She then said that the new estimate was 11 PM on 9-30. I called back later because earlier in the week I had been told that my power would be back on by "Friday at the latest," and on Friday I was told by a Dominion representative that my outage was on the list to be repaired that day. I asked the girl when I called back why my power had not been restored as scheduled, and why the estimate was moved back 4 days. She said that she did not know. I am glad that my power is back, but they really need to be careful what they are telling people. I received a lot of answers to my questions, yet not one was accurate.

Since I just gave an account of a terrible customer service story, here's is a great one to balance it out. About 8 months ago I lost the "male" part of the clip for the cross-stap on my Timbuk 2 bag. About 3 weeks ago I emailed them to ask how I could obtain a replacement, how much it would cost etc... 12 hours later a guy emails me back telling me that he will send me one for free if I send him my address. I do so and a couple of days ago received the package, in it was an entire new cross-strap. AWESOME! I have always been very satisfied with my bag, and now I can vouch for their amazing customer service skills. In other bag news I went to the bike shop the other day and bought a Timbuk 2 strap pouch to hold my cellphone-it was only $10 and very cool/more useful than your avegarge cellphone holder. Highly recommended.

One last thing, I bought Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" at a thrift store the other day for $3. It is probably the most lyrically powerful record I have ever heard. I teared up by the second song the first time I listened to it. I recommend checking it out, though I can guarantee it will hurt. For those of you who don't know, or forgot, its all about 9-11.


We had power back for about 48 hours and then lost it again. We have now been without power since early Tuesday morning. They told me that we would have power back by "Friday, at the latest," and yesterday told me that it would be on by "9 PM" last night. I am in Kim's office right now, which is where the lizard is since we don't have power. For those of you keeping track, we have had power for a total of 48 hours in the last 9 days. The worst part is that the power company cannot even give me a proper estimate or anything else helpful. I called them this morning and the "customer service center" is closed all weekend. With Dominion the words "customer service" is a misnomer. They are not being helpful nor or they currently providing a service of any kind. For those of you who do not know, they are not actually working "around the clock" as they like to claim. The repairs are being done during the day on a 12 hour shift. They are a lying monopolistic company who are pretty much screwing up up the return to normalcy in the wake of a natural disaster. I seriously hope that a class-action suit is filed. I understand that it is difficult to restore power to well over a million customers, but that is not an excuse for lying. I would be completely cool if they were being honest, but I despise being lied too. They deserve all of the terrible press they are getting, and I hope that they soon find themselves in the middle of a public relations disaster that devesates their reputation.


The Richmond City Schools are closed Tuesday now too. I am really glad that we have power back. At least I have things to do while I am not teaching and therefore not getting paid.

I have been drinking lots of coffee. I am on a permanent caffeine buzz. It feels GOOD!!!


Richmond City Schools are closed again tomorrow. At this rate I will be teaching straight through next summer.


"There's A Cough In The Water..."

We just got power back, after about 48 hours without it. Boy did it suck. I could not use my record player! Incidently we never lost phone service, I have no explanation as to why. We are pretty lucky--the majority of Richmond is still without power. There aren't too many trees in our apartment community so we didn't experience any damage as a result. This is probably the only time I will be glad that we have very few trees around us. The water coming from the tap is still not drinkable. Apparently the purification systems are all down, and they are having a hard time getting them back up again. Fortunately I only drink Perrier, Evian, Urine & St. Ides so I'm in the clear.


XOXO Johnny Cash Loves Isabel XOXO

I am listening to Johnny Cash and watching/listening to the storm. I almost put on my swimsuit and went running up and down the street screaming: "THE SKY IS fALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!," but Kim talked me out of it.

I got a really cool shirt off ebay earlier. It has a picture of Johnny Cash's BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN 45 from Sun Records. Very cool. It is a Johnny Cash, Sun Records and a Vinyl enthusiast t-shirt all in one. You can see it here. I got it for $15 including shipping. SWEET!

The restaurant is closed tonight, the schools were closed today and will be closed tomorrow. I am on a mini vacation. The wind is getting really bad-I need to go now.



I had to call my first parent ever today. It went well, despite me being nervous and bumbling my way through the conversation.

In other news I am so terrified of Hurricaine Isabelle that I have done virtually nothing to prepare for it. This is a little reality check for everyone, hurricanes lose power as soon as they hit land. Therefore the hurricane will be diminished in force to that of a tropical storm long before it hits Richmond. The storm will be even less powerful by the time it hits DC. Here's what to expect: rain and wind. This storm will probably only be as bad as many of the thunderstorms Richmond experienced this past summer-except the effects will be sustained. The only good thing is that I might not have to teach the next couple of days. I am checking the school closings list constantly, and just for Laze: I am: "hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst."


Poor Lex is having some problems with customers so I will share my favorite customer service story to show he is not alone. I was working at Sam Goody in Spotsylvania Mall and this customer walks in and says the following:

"I am looking for a CD and the cover is red."

I said well do you remeber who the artist was?
Was it a new release?
"I don't remember."
Was it a Rap CD, Jazz CD, Country ...?
"I don't remember."
Did you see the CD on the left or the right side of the store?
I didn't see it in this store, I saw it at a Store in Northern Virginia.
I looked at the guy and said very sarcastically: "Well then sir, I really can't help you." He looked surprised and said "OK," and left. People are truly ridiculous.

In other news I had to call the assistant principal to remove a kid from my classroom today. The kid was just an unbelievable pain in the ass, who would not do the work, would not listen, would not behave, would not keep his mouth shut etc... I hate to say it but many of the people who blame the education system for their problems later in life, conducted themselves in this very same way while in school. It is not my fault that this child has no self-discipline or desire to learn, though I am sure I am one of the people he will blame when he is working fast-food 4 years from now. Sometimes you have to ask yourself what you are doing teaching in the first place? If I didn't enjoy it even through all the crap, I would certainly quit.


Tonight Kim and I watched "Bowling For Columbine" and I was forced to think of two very odd questions I received from students this past week. They are as follows:

1. "Do you own a gun? Because I don't want you going home, getting it and coming back and shooting us."--I was obviously disciplining the students for their poor behavior at the time.

2. Have you ever sold drugs?

To the first question I responded that No I did not own a gun and furthermore I could think of no instance in which a teacher had shot their students, the child was insinuating that if I did own a gun and decide to kill my students that it would similar to past events, I then added that the question was innappropriate and ludicrous. For the second question I responded with a no and then proceeded to discipline the student for asking such an inappropriate question.

Truly incredible. Both questions came out of the blue, and I must admit took me off guard. I have never been asked such strange questions in my life.


I had a really bad day yesterday, and was hoping to have a better day today. Unfortunately I woke up in a bad mood, it's raining, and then I find out Johnny Cash died. I haven't even set foot in front of my class and I already want to crawl back in bed. Usuually I don't really give it too much thought when a celebrity dies, but I must admit I am kind of upset by this one. Even though I never met the man, or even saw him live there was something about him that I found incredibly endearing.

I feel bad about focusing solely on Johnny Cash since Three's Company star John Ritter also died. I am not comparing the two, just mentioning the latter.


Thanks a million to corey for hosting the new header graphic I designed. The changes are almost complete...


Introducing the new and improved Paint A Vulgar Picture. I am working on some other stuff too, this is design number three for those of you keeping track.


I have added and removed numerous links over on the right. You should check them out.

If you have the need for an organizer/planner please check out the Slingshot! site under the Buy Stuff heading. The 2004 organizer will be out soon--it's $5 (postage paid) and has tons of interesting Anarchist information, plus it comes in awesome colors.

More changes will be coming in the near future.


I successfully completed my first day of teaching yesterday. I nearly bvlew out my voice yelling. I have two classes--one is fine but I have two "trouble-makers" in the other. They are the reason that I almost lost my voice. The problem is that you have to set the tone of the class the first week and particularly the first day, thus my yelling and attempts to give the impression that I am a hard-ass. I don't know if it will work, but its worth a try. All the education books say that this is the best method, so hopefully I will succeed. If it doesn't work I am going to hit the first kid that makes me really mad and use him as an example.


There has been a major change of plans. Last week I was assigned my schools for this semester and I was told to telephone them and meet with the principal of each school. One of the principal's never returned my phone call, so I showed up yesterday at 7:00 and spoke with her briefly. She said that they had not set up the program and asked me to come back at 2:30. I emailed my company and explained to them what had happened. The company called me and told me they were sending a representative to my meeting with me. The principal is one of the most unprofessional individuals I have ever encountered. She started by saying that she didn't want to participate in the program, but she was being forced to, she then made me defend my teaching methods and style--even though she had never met me before nor had I ever taught in the school. Amazingly enough she told us that she was unhappy with the last people who had taught the program and mentioned them BY NAME. I got out of the meeting and told the company person that I did not want to teach there, she was cool with it but after she told my supervisor, I received a phone call trying to convince me to stay--and I stood my ground and said that I could not work under that administration.

So finally the company calls me back and offers me a different assignment within the same program. The cool part is that I have already taught and that school and had a wonderful experience. The only problem is that I had to take a cut in hours to make the switch. Needless to say I am staying at the restaurant and working the new assignment as well as probably picking up another assignment through the tutoring company.

Did I mention that I am "teaching" right now? Amazingly enough I don't have any kids. I am almost used to this.


Spent a good portion of last week in meetings, and boy did it suck. I really dislike the meetings more than any other aspect of teaching. In a surprising turn of events, at one of the schools I will be teaching at I actually have my own classroom, a key to that room, and a mailbox. I feel so important--it is a big change from teaching in the cafeteria and the hallway--I have done both in the past. I am really nervous about working 3 nights at the restaurant and a full teaching schedule, if I have to leave the restaurant then so be it. Every night I work I get bitched at for basically no reason, and needless to say it has gotten pretty old. Plus with the full teaching schedule I really don't need the money. We'll see how it goes. I know the decision is mine to make, but if anyone has some advice or an opinion on the matter, you are encouraged to comment or email. I could use the help.

I am really glad that all the children in my neighborhood will be going back to school tomorrow. They have spent the last 3 months without supervision annoying me and I am welcoming the prospect of them having homework and bedtimes with open arms.