Monday, June 30, 2014

Pay Cut

One of the things about my new position that I thought about going into it was a pay cut - the middle school is a great place to work and comes with opportunities for a lot more money. There is the after school program at most middle schools that are low income, and often teachers are given the opportunity to tutor after school. I was making an extra $2,400 a year tutoring. That's lost now, and well, it was a nice amount to put toward trips. That was my trip fund.

At the middle school we were in constant need of subs - I was often told I was going to sub on my prep period, which drove me crazy, but it did provide a nice check with it. $45 per hour. Yeah, I can do that. I was making about $100 per month doing that. At most high schools there is also opportunities to do that, but at my school where I teach all periods, and all teachers there teach all class periods, that is not an option.

My school had a wacko schedule, and there were several addendum's to the contract for it. While I disliked it, what it did provide for was a lot of extra income - we had 20 instructional minutes added at the beginning of the day that gave us about $250 a month more in our check due to a low income grant we got for adding instructional minutes. Also, we had a lot more meetings than a regular school, and well, those meetings drove me insane, but an extra $20 here, $40 here, it adds up.

At the high school there is not a lot of opportunity for extra money. I am taking a pay cut - but I guess it is at the expense of my mental wellbeing.

I am already maxed out on the salary scale and so there is no room for advancement/more money.

Damn, I feel poor again.

$350 a month less is quite a bit.

Oh, and it also doesn't help that we had 3 planning days at the end of the year I was unable to attend due to prior vacation being planned prior to these dates being announced. I went online and put it in the sub system, but was told by payroll after receiving a letter, they are taking $995 out of my check for July because I did not do the leave request properly. GAH. GOTTA FIGHT THAT.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Aurora Borealis

As we hang in Alaska, I am disappointed I'm not able to see this right now. It is definitely on my bucket list.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Hey guys!

I'm looking for some new reads - I like biographies, like plays, but haven't found anything tickling my fancy lately.

Hilary's new book isn't well rated on amazon, so I have strayed away. Robin Robert's book was pure inspiration and had me bawling as I read along.

Now I was wondering if anyone had some good reads - as far as plays, I like Ibsen (A Doll's House), Tennessee Williams (Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar Named Desire), Death of a Salesman.

So... given my preferences... any ideas?

KOLA 99.9 Variety

Ok... so KOLA has expanded their playlist to 70s-90s, and deemed it classic hits. Well, there's a lot they are missing, so here it goes.

They play a few Mariah Carey songs, the occasional BSB song, Smash Mouth, and No Doubt song.

They really should expand their playlist. I feel that one of the biggest issues is a lot of stations repeat songs to adnauseum (see KFROG). I get tired of that same thing. I have a lot of songs, as I know many do, on their iPods with more variety. We even have those really embarrassing songs (Two Princes - Spindoctors or Hootie and the Blowfish). A few of those songs here and there aren't bad.

KOLA could benefit by adding in more variety

90s Songs
- No Doubt - Spiderwebs
- Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart (file under embarrassing)
- I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis
- Celine Dion (My Heart Will Go On, It's All Coming Back to Me Now)
- The Cranberries (Dreams or Linger)
- Christina Aguleria (What A Girl Wants)
- TLC (Waterfalls)
- MC Hammer (Cant' Touch This)
- Enya
- Sting (Desert Rose, Fields of Gold, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You)

80s Songs
Abba (Dancing Queen, Mama Mia)
America (You Can Do Magic)
Deneice Williams - Let's Hear it For the Boy
Duran Duran - Girls on Film, Rio,
Dwight Yoakam - Guitars Cadillacs (embarrassing)
Juice Newton - Queen of Hearts
Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
Depeche Mode - Can't Just Get Enough
Annie Lenox (No More I Love Yous, Walking on Broken Glass)
Your Love - The Outfield
Promises in the Dark, Shadows of the Night - Pat Benatar
Pet Shop Boys (West End Town, Being Boring)
The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Kathy Mattea - Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses

70s Songs
Van Morrison - Domino
Crosby Stills and Nash
Frankie Valli
Bee Gees (How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, I Started a Joke)
Cher - Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Sonny and Cher
John Denver - Country Roads, etc.

60s Songs with a  Folk/California sound
- The Beatles
- The Beach Boys
- The Supremes
- Bobbie Gentry
- Buffalo Springfield - For What Its Worth
- Marvin Gaye
- Jan and Dean (and others who have the California sound)
- The Troggs - Wild Thing, Love Is All Around
- The Mamas and Papas
- Simon and Garfunkel - Sound of Silence, etc.
- Paul Simon - Loves Me Like a Rock
- Peter Paul and Mary

Shout out to WJLT Evansville, which I often listen to since they have quite a few 60s in their classic playlist.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What is wrong with KFROG 95.1

I'm sick and tired of KFROG. I cannot listen to it. 

I despise the Frogmen in the Morning, Scott and Tommy. I dislike everything that comes out of their mouths. 

And I was in the car at various points today, and here's what I heard:

9:05 - Blake Shelton - Doin' What She Likes
10:06 - Blake Shelton - Doin' What She Likes
11:15 - Blake Shelton - HoneyBee
11:35 - Keith Urban - Cop Car
12:15 - Blake Shelton - Doin' What She Likes
12:30 - Keith Urban - Cop Car

This was just as I was flipping the radio and landed on the frog I heard this. Can you say repetitive? 

And their throwback Thursday hits they're playing? Yeah, 1 song every few hours from a few years ago to the 90s. What a lack of variety. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Parting with books

Some people have that emotional attachment to books - my parents and sister consider books sacred. Tons of bookshelves in their house, love books, buy them constantly. Me? Well, I guess I have a part of that still in me. I always felt that there might be something in my education books that I would find useful, and for the most part I haven't returned to any of the books, so today I decided to sell some of my books on amazon. I had 5 textbooks from my graduate program that fetched me $89 - nice down payment for some new sunglasses... or shoes.

Also took a bunch of $3- and less gift cards I had, and traded them in online for amazon gift cards. While it would be nice to get the full value out of them, they were places I simply didn't shop like the movie theater, Mimi's Cafe, IHOP. So they were places I had gift cards to, went, and still had a little bit left over, and since I didn't pay for them I didn't feel that huge of a loss. $11 there.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What's good this week - new and old music

Here's what I am playing on my iPhone this week.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Back in the days...

Hung out with The Guy yesterday. It was good times. Lots of talk about anxiety meds, politics, and our relationships. He finds it funny how antagonistic the relationship is between my partner and I. We argue constantly over little things, but in a cute way, and give each other a hard time.

The Guy had a training session with his trainer at his ritzy country club he has a membership to, so I got to tag along and look at all the hotties from the local high school and college, and work out.

Stopped by Trader Joes and then went back to his house where Rob had just shown up. We talked about a lot of things - mainly Rob's new ventures into nursing, and his new job at a doc's office. Got to talk about a  lot of interesting things like B12 injections. Glad Rob is doing so well.

Then we ordered pizza, ate, and talked, and watched something called Paranormal Witness. It was good - could easily become addicted to that show.

After dinner, and the bottles of wine started flowing, we talked about a lot - we got deep - we talked about cooking, common core math standards, our upbringings and how we remember being taught math in school. It was good that The Guy and I are on opposite spectrums of our beliefs for the common core standards, so that made for good debate. Rob and I grew up in the same city, and grew up with a lot of the same common friends, though we went to different schools. We reminisced about the places we went, people we knew, and that was fun.

He asked about one mutual acquaintance - actually, he is good friends with everyone int he family, and I am Facebook friends with most of the family, but did not like the girls, and I went to K-12 with them. They were mean, know it alls, and made fun of everyone. There were 6 of them, and 4 boys. He asked if I heard about the crash in a nearby city where a guy was coming home from work on his bike, and was struck by a man in a car. I said I had, since I remember hearing it on the news. Turns out their little brother, whom I did go to school with, was all over the news the day before because he had been arrested for mowing the guy over with his car, and I heard the name as the news was reporting it, but the name didn't register. The kid had a very unusual name. I didn't like the little brother, but what he did was tragic.

About 10pm I figured it was time to go, so I said my goodbyes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cruise photos

Taken with my iPhone as that was what I had around me most of the time.

My room - an interior cabin - I thought I'd be paranoid - thoughts of what if the boat sank, but I was fine. I really enjoyed that it was pitch black and I could watch my favorite drunks, Hoda and Kathy at 7am with the Miami feed in pitch black.

The view down my hall that I saw every morning. It has a Vegas casino feel to it.
 From the deck.
 The lobby
 The buffet.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The cruise with my parents

Ventured over to Catalina and down to Ensenada with my parents. Cruise went well.

Good dinner mates - an older black couple from Cerritos, a lesbian pair of nurses, and what looked like OC money from Reno

Just got off at Catalina and walked around, had dessert.

In Ensenada, we went downtown, and walked and walked and walked and walked.

Some good conversations happened - the finance conversation - they saw me do a shot of cranberry vodka at the dinner table, they saw me wandering around with my glass of chardonnay, and I had my piƱa colada at brunch. My dad seemed judgmental, but my mom was cool with it.

Parents enjoyed the shows - I'm glad they weren't exactly like the ones the week prior.

Pics to follow.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gay in Nashville

I was reading one of my new blogger friend's archives the other day, and not only did I discover he was a country music fan, which scores major points in my book, but he posted an article I knew nothing of.

I had heard the name Shane McNally before, so I'm not that so far behind, but I knew nothing of him - a gay country songwriter who is behind some of country music's biggest hits right now.

He's got lots of articles about him - here, NY Times, and the Washington Post.

A lot of his songs are some of my favorites I discovered -

Last Call - LeAnn Wommack
Somewhere With You - Kenny Chesney <-- a="" and="" every="" gay="" have="" heard="" i="" it="" like="" lol.="" nbsp="" p="" relationship...="" song="" sounded="" this="" time="">Come Over - Kenny Chesney
A few of The Band Perry's songs
Tie It Up - Kelly Clarkson <-- equated="" funny="" gay="" he="" heard="" immediately="" it="" marriage="" my="" p="" partner="" this="" to="" when="">

Oh, and Lady A too... Downtown. Love that song, and the line "I've got a dress that'll show a little uh-uh, but you ain't getting unh-uh unless you come pick me up..."

And Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Togetherness - Finances

Over the past month or so I've been thinking a lot about money. I have several goals that I want to meet -

Things I already do
- Save 15% of my monthly check toward retirement
- Save toward an emergency fund

Things I need to do
- Build an emergency fund that is at least 6 months of salary set aside -- I've got about 4 months there
- Put money toward the house (patio)

I guess I'm easily swayed, or pressured. One thing that would be nice is to have a rental house, but do I need it? No. My parents keep saying I need to buy a house, but I have a house, I have a partner, and we are happy where we are at. I have been having the realization that I don't need to please anyone - my parents can talk, and tell me what I need to do, but that doesn't work for me right now. Right now my priority is the patio and doing what I need to do for us to live comfortably - or at least contribute my part -- and on our cruise this week this is something I plan to bring up to my mother and father. It is not going to be an easy conversation, but I feel that is really holding me back right now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Excruciating Pain

I went through several rounds of physical therapy for the meniscus/calf issue, and did that for about 3 months. It was great. The pain went way down. The physical therapist was awesome - she really, over time, dug into my calf muscle and knee area via soft tissue massage.

I've been out of physical therapy for about 3 months, and I continue to be a good boy, doing all the exercises, but I still get a pain.

The pain occurs right above my ankle in the inner part of the calf. It is on the inside of the leg, literally 1-3 inches from where the ankle bone sticks out. It is a sharp, tingling, piercing, and pulling pain. It is pretty constant, especially when I am not standing or walking. It is weird. The pain is only concentrated to 1 little spot. I alternate between an Ace Bandage Wrap, a calf band, and a calf sleeve - whatever seems to hit the pain that day. I try to massage it, and that helps for a few moments, but then the pain is back. I lack the massage therapist touch, and I do try. It is made worse when I sneeze, for whatever reason, the tingling can be felt then, oh, and when I wipe, which is probably TMI, but it goes to show how the human body is connected. When I'm laying in bed it bothers me too, especially without the Naproxen. It feels like my leg is electric, and the Naproxen calms it down. Tylenol won't work.

I try to research online and come up empty-handed. I don't have shin splints, blood clots, and nobody can seem to explain this.

So today I'm in the Ace and calf band, and on a big dose of Naproxen trying to make things better, and trying to enjoy the day en Catalina.

As for the meniscus issue, my knee is 1000% better, and only after strenuous physical activity, or movements I'm not used to do I have to wear a knee band for a day or so, then I'm fine.

Monday, June 9, 2014

We have places to go

So lots of vacationing coming up...

I'm vacationing on another cruise with my parents next week. It was super cheap - less than $250 for 5 days/4 nights, going on a quick jaunt down to Mexico. And they say I never spend time with them. Thank my partner for encouraging me to go.

I NEED A VEGAS BREAK SOON. Last year we went to Vegas like 4 times over 2 months, and well, I miss it. I wanna park myself like its hot at a slot machine and make it rain. Then I want to find some amazing drinks and happy hours. And shop. That's my plan. Gonna press Mike to go soon. I've been pushing. He'll probably say "it's too damn hot."

And well, NY for the holiday season. SO EXCITED. AGAIN. It is our annual tradition. So, our friends from the cruise, Mike's friend Kat, and myself, are trying to plan a NYE in a house on Martha's Vineyard or somewhere fancysmancy like that, or in a mountainy area with lots of snow. We are super excited. While in NYC I MUST MUST MUST see "Beautiful," Carole King's biography that basically became a Broadway show. I'm not sure it's Mike's cup of tea, but I just read her biography, and love her music. Her songs are just brilliant. Brilliant play on words. So, here's some Carole King for ya... and me.

My favorite line is "when my show was in the lost and found..."

Little Eva was her kids' babysitter.

I want to get to OKC to see my cousins. Indiana is also on my list to see my family there. So many places to go and so little money. Boo.

Oh, and it drives Mike crazy that I love those oldies... and trivia.

And I want to go see Elton John at Staples Center in October. Expensive I'm sure.

Oh,and Bobbie Gentry is currently in heavy rotation on my iTunes right now. Love the folksy sound. The Closet Professor posted her song "Ode to Billy Joe," and I've been playing her ever since...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

TV and Radio Observations

Anyone ever watch "The People's Couch" on Bravo? Anyone seen the Egbert family, the 2 guys, who are sons, who are always laying in their parent's bed, in between mom and dad? Weird.


- I am so glad Kristin Cruz from the Mark & Kristin show on KOST 103.5 is gone. I could not stand another moment about her talking about her kids, her firefighter, or her sandpaper voice.

- I cannot stand Bruce Scott in the afternoon on KOST. He just seems a little fruity. Keri Steele is just hella annoying too. I avoid KOST a lot these days.

- Oh, and another reason why I avoid KOST is their traffic bed. They've added the most annoying and grating music to the bed during the traffic report. It sounds like they took the music from One Republic's Counting Stars and have that behind Mike Nolan giving the traffic.

- I miss RaqC and Nachin en Exitos 93.9 y all the Spanglish. Listen to the clip from Exitos below. How awesome is all that Spanglish? That's pretty much como I talk on a daily basis.

- Radio stations that place the commercials before the traffic reports bother me. I am not going to stick around to wait for a traffic report - I will flip to another station.

- KIIS is so formulaic sounding in the morning - not a Ryan Seacrest in the morning fan, but I do like him, only on TV I've decided.

- My favorite radio stations right now are 100.3 KSWD, The Sound. Lots of music, lots of not regularly played classic rock, great features like Peace Love and Sunday Mornings, Triple Play Thursdays, and My Turn.

- KOLA is good, but their playlist, even though they have gone 90s too, is so limited. They could add in groups like TLC, Gin Blossoms,  Mariah Carey (other than Always Be My Baby), Nirvana, Alanis Morisette, Paula Cole. KOLA also needs more 80s. They should add in a few 60s like KEARTH does with Beatles and Beach Boys, along with Motown.

- I like Jesse Duran and Irma in the morning on KOLA. They're fun and energetic.

- Meanwhile on another IE station, KGGI, I cannot stand John Magic, Weavey, and Evelyn Erives. He just doesn't appeal to me. Diana Weavey is so small market sounding. KGGI no longer plays old school.

- And other morning shows - I don't like the Woody Show on ALT 987. Their features like the Redneck news are fine, but they talk so much about like how bad humanity is. I know it is, but I just don't find them relatable.

- Anytime I need a Woody I can go to Heidi and Frank on 955 KLOS, and they are always talking about sex in some way or another. The other morning they were talking about a survey about people liking to do it while their favorite shows are on so they don't miss out on the shows. Like WTF, really, people? LOL.

- I continue to loathe KFROG's limited playlist, the Frogmen in the Morning talk about the same thing everyday - their kids, school, and well, it's boring.


- KTLA just hired Nerissa Witherspoon Knight - the former KNBC morning anchor who had a big 130 market fall to Beaumont Texas after her KNBC days. And she was probably where she belonged. She was painful to watch. WTF is KTLA thinking?

- KTLA is on a bimbo hiring spree it seems right now. Courtney Friel. Nerissa.

- KTLA should have Vera Jimenez or Ginger Chan occasionally stand in front of the traffic map, instead of inside the traffic center. I like that. Watch my girl Alysha below...

- Love me my Alysha, Garth, Leslie, and Phillip in the morning on ABC7. I am constantly changing the channel between ABC7 and the KTLA crew 4-7am crew. I can't stand Jessica Holmes, so after 7, I am watching CBS or ABC. Henry DiCarlo is hilarious. I can't watch KABC with Bri Winkler on. She's amateur, at best. Chris Schauble doesn't even bother me that much on KTLA now.

Have to admit, I used to have a hard time watching Leslie Sykes, but she has grown on me, and I enjoy her in the morning.

- And Good Day LA is unwatchable. PERIOD.

- Oh, and I haven't watched KNBC in a hot minute also. They're just a mess over there. Anette Arreola, Gadi Schwartz, Tony Shin, and Michelle Valles. All amateurs at best, and really do not know SoCal when they talk.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cars - the 2015s

So I have been thinking about cars lately, and how there are so many new models coming that I want to wait for... 

A few months back, this is what I said:

want a luxury car at that - even cpo - certified pre owned - it is not like i'm driving a lot now, and i don't plan to hold onto it after it hits 100k. sure it costs a little more, but its about the thrill of driving as far as I'm concerned. my partner thinks otherwise. we have his old luxury suv deal, his convertible, and my fuel efficient car. we have talked about going more fuel efficient - prius like - but part of me wants a luxury car - i feel like i should be moving up - not staying the same and also not compartmentalizing myself into something
my car could get about $6-7k right now. its nearly at 100k, so needs about $300 for the tune up and then about $450 in other work. so i would be putting $750 in a car that i'm going to keep for another year. i don't like that idea. dang cars being expensive.

Here's the cars I'm liking, and eyeing...

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

2015 Honda VHR

2015 Lincoln MKC

There are of course luxury models I'm looking at, and a few others (Hyundai Veloster, BMW/Audi Certified), but I think I want to wait at least until the end of 2015. Maybe a Scion? They're coming out with new models including a sedan, a hatchback, and a few more. Maybe a BMW? I also like the new Jeep Cherokee, the new Prius is coming out, as well as Prius C, and so there are many choices.  I will have some money saved up by then. 

I am setting money aside right now for a rental house, building up my emergency fund, and toward our amazing patio. 

So right now my goal is this - save $100 a month toward a car.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

To get myself motivated to lose some weight/get back into the gym regularly

Current Stats:
Height - 6'1
Weight - 165lbs

Goal - Lose 10 pounds
Goal - Do at least 2 hours of cardio every week at the gym/15 miles a week
Goal - Abs at least 3 times a week, at least 100 of some exercise
                 *** Do AbRipperX (P90X) when I go 2 or more days not going to the gym
Goal - 3 times a week at the gym I will have a leg, arm, and chest day
Goal - Gym 4-5 days a week
Goal - fit better into size 29/30 pants

Truth - I used to be between a 28 and 29, suddenly I'm at a 30, and edging toward a 31, which I refuse to let happen....

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jack off

How do you make for time when you are around your spouse who is obviously not horny, and you need to take care of business. How do you get away from them to jack off for a bit? Problem is my guy works from home, so is there 90% of the time, and we are almost always I'm the same room

Might I add that he is a prude when it comes to stuff like this, that he doesn't really have the sex drive I do, and would find it weird to find me doing it.