Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks 2010 Style

I have so much to be thankful for this year! Rather than provide you with a nonsensical narrative, I will create a brief list. Here we go!
1.) I am grateful to live in a beautiful home. It took so long to find the right house, and I am also thankful for my awesome realtor, Will, who really listened to my needs and helped me find the perfect place to live!
2.) I have wonderful friends, both here in Las Vegas and spread out all over the country (and abroad)!
3.) I am thankful for people who have come into and enriched my life, even for a brief period of time.
4.) My career has provided me with much fulfillment. My students make me smile every day!
5.) I am grateful for my family, near and far.
6.) I am so very thankful for the conveniences of modern life... DVR, wireless internet, indoor plumbing!
7.) My new ward has been so welcoming! I already feel like I'm part of that ward family! I haven't felt this way for a long time.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Is it too much to ask???

Dear female coworkers,
Since we all spend between 8-12 hours a day at work, it is inevitable that we will all have to use the restroom at least once a day. Now, I understand that there are a lot of us gals at work; we outnumber our male coworkers at a ratio of at least ten to one. Also, I'm not saying its fair that over fifty of us ladies share only two bathroom stalls. It is never fun to spend your entire twenty minute lunch break waiting in line for the restroom (while simultaneously microwaving/eating lunch, photocopying, monitoring detention students, etc...).

I know that our bathroom situation is far less than ideal. However, there are a few simple rules that can make sharing two stalls with fifty women somewhat tolerable:
1.) CLEAN UP after yourself! When I use the restroom, I should not find pubic hairs or sprays of urine on the seat.
2.) The bathroom stall should never look like someone just had an abortion in there. I understand that we all endure that special time of the month and perhaps accidents happen, but CLEAN IT UP, PEOPLE!!!
3.) I know it is too much to ask CCSD to actually have functional toilet paper dispensers in faculty restrooms. I get it. I know it is not ideal to have multiple rolls of toilet paper precariously perched along the handicapped arm rail. However, try (just TRY!) to not dunk an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet bowl. No one wants to fish that out. And once it happens, that stall is unusable for the whole day, which effectively reduces our restroom capacity by 50%.

I don't think this is asking too much. Can we please learn to share our space in a way that is respectful to everyone? Thanks, and as always, I love you.

Heather Bay

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steve for House District 11

Steve is running for Utah House District 11. This is one of three campaign videos I made for him. As you can imagine, the other two are much more serious and appropriate in nature. But after five hours of serious commercial-making, I was starting to go a little batty.

PS: Adult Swim, you should totally give me a job. I can willingly abandon all appropriate filmmaking/editing skills and adopt, at will, the editing style of a high school sophomore.

Never Take Clean Laundry for Granted!

My washing machine broke six weeks ago and has still not been fixed. Alliance Home Warranty sent a total of four repairmen. Here's the rundown:  

  • Repairman #1: He made several racist comments (ie: I'm Korean, and he said, "I've never seen a Chinaman who couldn't do laundry, hardee har har."). He told me that he was going to order every part under the sun and then sell them on Craigslist. Insurance fraud, much?  
  • Repairman #2: He did not bring any tools, attempted to repair my washer with his bare hands, and yelled at me for not providing him with tools.
  • Repairman #3: Arrived at 8pm (two hours after the service window), was clearly intoxicated, and smelled like marijuana. He fell asleep on the floor of my laundry room for two hours. When I asked him to leave, he barricaded himself in the laundry room and locked me out. I had to call 911 to have him removed.  
  • Repairman #4: He brought tools, was prompt, and was not intoxicated, which I'm learning is a lot to ask for. However, he left on 10/5/10 because he needed to order parts, and the parts arrived on 10/12/10. Two weeks later, and they refuse to return to complete the repair. 
I have called Alliance on a DAILY basis, and they refuse to do anything. For example, I spent an hour tonight on the phone with customer service. I spoke with three reps, each one more useless and volatile than the one before. One of them told me he was giving me a "direct line" to a higher supervisor, proceeded to give me a bogus 800 number, and then hung up. I found it interesting that EACH customer service rep I spoke with tonight not only claimed to be the shift supervisor, but also claimed to be the ONLY shift supervisor on duty in the call center; clearly, they are very dishonest. The bottom line is that SIX WEEKS has gone by and my washer is still broken. Alliance refuses to repair or replace my washer, and is breaking the terms of our contractual agreement.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Hot for Teacher?

Back in graduate school, when professors asked what kind of teacher I wanted to be, I never thought I'd be on stage in front of hundreds of elementary school aged kids playing a parody version of a Queen song. I'm proud to be the kind of teacher that is willing to make a fool of myself for the sake of getting kids excited about reading. I'm also very proud of my excellent colleagues (Pam, Laura, and Emily) who endured (enjoyed?) hours of band practice, even after 8+ grueling hours of teaching in hot steamy classrooms with no air conditioning.

PS: Our kid-friendly band name is "The Rock-Its." We chose it because our school mascot is an astronaut.
PPS: We're still seeking ideas for a real name for our band, you know, for when we make it big (ie: play a poorly attended gig in the burbs). I suggested "Hot for Teacher," but that was quickly shot down. lol.  Any band name ideas are welcome!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Well, hell must be freezing over because I finally got the perfect house! After two years of looking and with the help of an awesome realtor, I found a beautiful house in a quiet neighborhood. The house is only three years old, and even though its a foreclosure, the previous owner left it in pristine condition. The bank put new flooring in throughout and also painted. I'm not going to post a lot of details because I'm pretty sure I saw an episode of Dateline that started with some naive newlyweds posting every detail of their new house and new purchases (flat screen tvs, furniture, appliances, etc...), and ended with them being immediately robbed by random internet browsers. Also, I'm pretty certain that they were also tied up and shot or bludgeoned or forced to watch Spongebob Squarepants. Something like that.

Anyway, Steve came over and we changed the locks. He also managed to program both garage door openers. The selling agent removed the lock box and "for sale" sign. Now I feel confident that my boxes of college dishes and dirty cleaning rags will be safe from the wandering hordes of street gangs (there aren't street gangs... yet).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

For those who haven't heard the news...

Steve propsed on Wednesday, July 28th after a quiet, romantic, leisurely dinner on the patio at one of our favorite restaurants, The Red Iguana.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss

Steve and I were in the market for a car stereo. After getting a nearly $800 quote from the car dealer and a $500 quote from Best Buy, we decided to go with a local car stereo shop which came recommended by both Steve's brother aaaaand the sales guy at the car dealer. The local shop was charging $120 total for the exact same stereo and install, plus they could install the next morning.

So we go to the local shop. Picture your average car stereo shop in a not-awesome part of town with a super courteous employee behind the counter. While browsing around and checking out various stereos, Steve pulls me aside and solemnly says, "I think you should know something. This store was the site of some really brutal homicides back in the 70's."


He goes on to tell me that the employees and customers were bound, tortured, and murdered. He started to go into details, but that's when I stopped him; however not before he told me about the murderers jamming pens into people's ears and stomping on them as a form of torture.

So now it's almost three in the morning and I can't stop thinking about. I already had one nightmare. I didn't want Steve to share any more of the details, and we agreed that next time we're hanging out at the site of a high-profile homicide, he should just say, "Honey, we're in a bad neighborhood," and leave it at that. I read about the "infamous criminal case" on wikipedia, and while I might vomit, I'm finding a strange sense of security knowing that it wasn't as bad as my wandering mind allowed it to become. I feel super creepy going there tomorrow morning to drop off the car. And I'm definitely not hanging out there for a couple hours waiting for the install. In my rational mind, I know that the murders happened almost forty years ago, but I feel sick just thinking about it.

Yah, I really could have been just fine not knowing any of that. Or this:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

To those who are about to blog...

Many of my friends have included these very sad six words in their blog entries: In case anyone actually reads this...

And to this, I say, "YES. I actually do read your blog." It doesn't matter if we haven't seen each other since we shared a shopping cart eight years ago at a grocery store in Provo. Or if we recently got in touch on facebook. I'm not an online stalker; I'm much too overworked and underpaid for that. I do, however, enjoy seeing how my friends' lives have turned out with careers, kids, families. All of those other things we have done (college, missions, starting careers, graduate school) have really prepared us for this place in life where we are now. I genuinely enjoy reading about your family vacations, potty training your kids, craft projects, career moves, etc...

So to those who are about to blog, I salute you.

(Clearly, I'm a dork. Please overlook this.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where has summer gone?

Hello friends! It has been a relatively quiet summer. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Girls Rock Vegas camp. 5 days, 40 girls, 20+ volunteers, and enough guitars/basses/drums for all of them!
  • Zion National Park with Steve's family
  • My first quilt, which has been cut but not sewn
  • Actively searching for a new home with my awesome realtor

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reckless Abandon

... and it is with this reckless abandon that I am splurging on a week-long vacation/road trip through Utah with Steve's family. I realize that Zion is a National Park, but holy cow, hotels there are expensive! Almost as much as in San Diego or Chicago or other expensive hotel cities. I got my flight at twice the normal cost, and I could only find a room for one of the two nights at Zion; everything was sold out! I couldn't figure out why until I realized that it is a HOLIDAY WEEKEND (in Utah).

That's right friends, Utah is celebrating Pioneer Day. Of course I'm grateful for our Pioneer ancestors and their brave and gallant trek across the country... I just wish that it wasn't so expensive to travel to Utah during this state-specific holiday.

Luckily this out-of-town excursion coincides perfectly with my realtor's vacation, so it won't impair my house-buying abilities at all. Staying in town due to real estate emergencies has been trying.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summertime Blues

This is the first summer since I started teaching that I haven't been able to leave town. Not even once. A nice opportunity came up to meet up with Steve on his family vacation with his parents and brother's family. His brother's family is driving through Vegas on their way to Zion, and I could have caught a ride up there with them. However, between paying for two nights of hotel near Zion National Park on a holiday weekend, plus a pricey flight home from Salt Lake City, it is just completely out the realm of affordability right now. It isn't like $300 is that much money, but to me, that's a credit card payment/2 months of student loan payments/half a mortgage payment.

Boohoo, right? I'm really frustrated because I work so hard all year, I'm financially supporting my mom, and I deserve just a few days to relax on vacation. During the school year, it is impossible to take time off (I don't get any personal days). Here I have eight weeks of vacation, and I'm stuck at home in a house where my mom watches Korean drama DVDs 16+hours a day while chainsmoking.

I seriously can't take this anymore. I need to get out of town. I need to be able to spend some time/money on myself for once.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

To Avoid Confusion...

Thanks Jessica W. for pointing this out:

Yah, for future reference, "heatherbay" *dot* blogPOT is definitely NOT my website.

Also for future reference, my blog is NOT a:
"MEGA-SITE of BiblechurchChristian & religious info, & studies. Easy to navigate
If YOU have ANY concern about your future on earth + eternity, it is critical you read this page."

Yah, if you have concern about your future on Earth, I'm really not the person to talk about it with. Um, so, (uncomfortable silence)... yah.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


  • almost 40 girls, most of which who never touched an instrument before last Monday
  • a cast of 25 of the most amazing volunteers ever
  • eight classrooms
= Girls Rock Vegas Camp 2010!!!

(Above pic: Our campers enjoying a concert played by Chick Band, a local all-woman band)
More details coming soon after I've had sufficient time to recover!

Monday, June 07, 2010

End of an Era...

Don't get me wrong- I love my 2001 Toyota. I purchased it brand spanking new, and it has been a great car. It has survived countless trips to and from the Motherland, has facilitated moving in and out of several houses/apartments across two states, endured the abuse of hauling my drum set and other music gear, and even survived being rear-ended by a vanful of polygamists (true story). I drove this car to class while I earned a B.A. and a M.Ed. This car moved me into my first classroom, and moved me in and out of three different schools in five years. I discovered that my car has the capacity to fit myself and two passengers, as well as a full drum set, including all hardware and cymbals, a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and amps. That's a lot for a compact sedan.

Sadly, I fear that our time together is coming to a close. A symphony of undesirable sounds is coming from under the hood and it sounds like a racecar (which it is not) when I exceed 45mph. My coworker has termed my car the "deathmobile." I just hope it can hang on for a few more years until I can afford to replace it with a hovercar. Those should roll off the assembly lines pretty soon, right?

At least the air-conditoning still works!

Monday, May 24, 2010

What a DIfference a Year Makes...

So apparently I've taken to titling blog entries exclusively with songs featured in commercials from bygone eras... but that's another topic for another day. My lovely friend Wendy wrote a blog entry about how she feels that she only blogs when she "has something to kvetch about," and then I realized that I, too, often blog only to complain about this or that. So I decided to read through my blog entries for the last 12 months and tally how many were rant-filled blog entries, and then calculate a percentage. You know, because its not like its 4am and its not like I need sleep.

But don't worry, as soon as I started reading previous blog entries, I was sucked in as if my blogging was indeed a work of mediocre teen literature. And then I got to blog entries from about a year ago at this time... and I recognized that, although I feel I'm at a standstill, life goes on and changes and twists and turns.

Before I use any more tired cliches (which is itself a tired cliche), I will use bullet points to illustrate the differences from 12 months ago:

  • THEN: I felt I was a more creative and more energetic writer. NOW: I feel tired and bleh.
  • THEN: Girls Rock Vegas was just starting out! NOW: Our girls just played the House of Blues!
  • THEN: I got my very first hatemail! NOW: Girls Rock Vegas is supported by the Nevada Arts Council and has a successful partnership with After School All Stars. Don't hate the playa, hate the game (not sure why, but I really felt the need to type that).
  • THEN: I was rocking my pink Motorola Razor phone and loving it, even though it only held a battery charge for about 20 minutes. NOW: My beloved pink Razor phone was stolen while I was in D.C. last summer, so now I have a Verizon smartphone. And yes, I feel smarter. And yes, I still have a M*A*S*H ringtone and an Alan Alda background on my display.
  • THEN: My laptop emitted high-pitched noises that made my dog hide under furniture. NOW: Dell did right by me and sent a spiffy replacement.
  • THEN: Mr. F****, the guy who owned the house next door was a greedy-bastard-slumlord who was basically one shade above a human trafficker as he exploited people trying to make an honest wage (this was when he wasn't threatening the neighbors with trespassing and assault). NOW: Mr. F**** has foreclosed on the house next door. It sold for $49k, when he bought it almost $300k. Don't feel bad, he lives in a $900k in an exclusive Vegas neighborhood... this was just one of his many rental properties. I looked into buying it, but it wouldn't pass an FHA inspection. Some unidentified investor purchased it with cash and is currently renting it to a nice young family who have earned my approval because they don't let their children play ransack my yard (at least not when I'm looking, which is really all I can ask for at this point).
  • THEN: I was working in a terrible place where money was misappropriated, staff was abused, and dishonesty and harassment abounded. I was incredibly depressed and so stressed that it was taking a toll on my physical health. NOW: I work at pretty much the best school ever for the most supportive adminstrators I have ever had. When I reflect on the situation last year, it seems like a really bad dream, or at least like an episode of 20/20 I saw once where a school administrator abused a teaching staff so profoundly that they all collectively sued her and won. I can't believe I ever had second thoughts about leaving that place!
Perhaps our friends from Jimmy Eat World were right after all...
It just takes some time,
little girl, you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be alright.
Wow. I just quoted Jimmy Eat World. Now it is officially time for bed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Busy Week in the Life of Girls Rock Vegas

Yes, at the House of Blues.

And at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.

I am really proud of our awesome girls! I am also very grateful for our partnership with After School All Stars and support from the House of Blues Schoolhouse Foundation, as well as from dedicated parents, teachers, and supporters! Girls Rock Vegas is going into our second year, and we have grown in ways I never expected. Last year at this time, when we were planning our first camp, I never would have dreamed that just one year later we'd be playing at the Springs Preserve, let alone the House of Blues! What a great experience for our rockers!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Work Haaaard for the Money

Last Saturday, Girls Rock Vegas rounded up some of our dedicated supporters and we trekked out to Lake Las Vegas to volunteer at the Iron Girl Triathlon. We did everything from handing out medals at the finish line to monitoring the bike course. We raised over $250 for our Girls Rock Vegas Camp financial aid fund! The athletes were amazing and they even managed to inspire many of our Girls Rock Vegas volunteers to start training for next year's triathlon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What I'm looking forward to this week...

  • Tuesday... (morning) Field trip with my 5th graders, (afternoon) Arts in the Park night at school with a Girls Rock Vegas performance
  • Wednesday... Girls Rock Vegas dress rehearsal with over 30 elementary school rockers
  • Thursday... Girls Rock Vegas show at the Springs Preserve! Steve's flight gets in, too
  • Friday... load up Girls Rock Vegas equipment into a giant moving van
  • Saturday... Girls Rock Vegas after-school program showcase concert at THE HOUSE OF BLUES!!!
  • Sunday... relax

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon...

This is one of my favorites from
Love, H

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

14,000 minus 1

I went to a church meeting the other night where the speaker told us how a high level church official implored him to raise the number of single adults that attend activities. Apparently, there are over 14,000 single adults in the Las Vegas valley. Less than 300 regularly attend church activities. He wondered why so many single adults don't attend activities. I've got a few ideas about this.

1) We are adults, not kids. A YSA ward shouldn't be treated as if it is an extension of Mutual groups. Many of us went to college and even have advanced degrees. Many of us have professional jobs that have hefty requirements. Playing broom hockey in the church gym just isn't appealing after a 10+ hour day of work.

2) The pressure to date and get married is intense. I think most of us would like to date and get married. However, there is a definite "type" of gal that gets asked out. Twenty-nine year old women with masters degrees who don't look like Barbie generally do not get asked out. Its fine to not get asked out, but its stressful when the focus of the ward is on dating and getting married. Shouldn't Christ be the focus of church?

3) The focus on dating can be hurtful when the men get the idea that they don't even have to be nice to people they aren't physically attracted to. Once, I called my home teacher, who had never met me before even though he had been my home teacher for months. When I told him who I was, his first question was, "Soooo, are you hot?" (This was years ago. I now have an awesome home teacher). Another example was when I attended a church luncheon. I sat down, and the guy next to me immediately grabbed his plate, glared at me, and stood up and moved to sit next to a (younger and hotter) gal on the other side of the table. Gee, sorry for taking up space.

4) People act like inconsiderate fools, Part One. A church leader once asked me why I'm single at my age. He didn't really want to know, as he cut me off before I could give an explanation. He then proceeded to rattle off a list of other overweight, "undateable" (his words, not mine) women in my age range and suggested that I hang out with them. Never mind that I have nothing in common with these women other than the fact that we are not size zeros, older than most, and single. That would be like me rattling off a random list of other Caucasian senior citizens and suggesting that they all go play a round of golf.

5) People act like inconsiderate fools, Part Two. Case in point:

On more than one occasion, I've seen this and other cars parked in the handicapped parking spaces' unloading zones. This is totally obnoxious. There are only three or four handicapped spaces and about nine jillion regular parking spaces available. This is totally not acceptable. This just symbolizes the kind of entitlement and obnoxious/immature behavior that encountered at the YSA ward.

I can't speak for the other 14,000 single LDS adults in Las Vegas, but these are just a few reasons why I don't attend YSA activities. I'd rather stay home and read a book instead of being rejected by people who are a decade younger than I am. I'll go to church. I'll read scriptures. I'll pray and pay tithing. But I'm done playing broom hockey.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Taking Care of Business

I am not a realtor. I am, however, a potential client. As a client, there are things that I would assume would be obvious to real estate professionals (or any professionals). However, this does not appear to be the case. After a week-long headache, I've compiled this list of things that I took for granted:

1) When a client explains to you that they can't make personal phone calls at work because they teach children (which, despite what you may think, is a full-time job), please respect that. You wouldn't want your child's teacher making personal phone calls during the school day, would you?

2) When the same client requests that you CC' their work email on important communication (because gmail is blocked on school district computers), cc' their work email. When the same client requests that you do it the second and third time, DO IT.

3) Do not constantly use "text-speak" in email (ie: r u 4geting sumthin?). This makes you sound very unprofessional.

4) Get a professional sounding email address, hopefully associated with the office where you work. Email addresses that involve words like "rainbow," "kitty," "unicorn," etc... make potential clients hesitate to take you seriously as a professional.

5) If you are planning on going on vacation and planning to pawn a client off on another realtor, YOU should be the one to tell the client this information. The client should not hear this information from a third-party.

6) If you want to get in touch with your client, call them. If you lost their number, either look it up or get it from the broker. Do not call a mutual friend and ask the mutual friend to call you client and have them call you.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

National Geographic Giant Traveling Map

Thanks to Herb T., my school was able to participate in National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map program. We had this giant map for four days and were lucky enough to be able to set it up in the Boys and Girls Club gym. It was an awesome learning experience for our students, as they were able to literally walk all over North America. This photo shows me and and my wonderful colleagues right after we set up the map. Thank you to Herb and National Geographic for giving us this awesome opportunity!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Steve's Urban Hunting Tips, Part 1

Sigh. Honestly, I don't know what he would have done if he'd caught one.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

best. birthday weekend. ever.

Started off with this:

Girls Rock Camp Alliance Conference- about 80 women representing over 20 Girls Rock camps worldwide!

I finally got to see this:
And yes, even the cheap seats were fantastic!

Spent time with my long-lost cousin and his awesome girlfriend:

And had a lovely birthday breakfast with some of my favorite people in the world:
Happy birthday to me!

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day 2010:
This was our third Valentine's Day together! We had a brunch with my mom at Sura, our favorite Korean restaurant. We walked it off by doing some fancy shopping at some fancy stores, and then we had a late dinner at Kona Grill. Two fancy meals in one day = lots of leftovers. It was fun to get dressed up and have an evening out on the town. Even though I live here in Vegas, I sometimes forget about all of the "fancy dress-up" things there are to do here.

Valentine's Day 2009:
We had breakfast at Omelet House, after which Steve got incredibly sick and could barely sit up. Then, we went to my school (can't remember why), where Steve assumed the fetal position in my classroom library. Poor Steve; he was in a lot of pain. I should have known better. When I used to work at UNLV, some of my coworkers and I went to lunch at that same location, and we ALL got sick and one of my coworkers had to be hooked up to an IV drip so he could stay dehydrated. Why I thought it was a good idea to go there for breakfast... I'm not sure. Anyway, Steve gave me a beautiful Tiffany necklace which was absolutely perfect. And apparently, I gave him food poisoning. =(

Valentine's Day 2008:
We weren't able to be together this year, but Steve sent flowers to my work, which was AWESOME! I gave Steve one of these filled with fishing gear, along with this lighthearted paper doll book. I was living with Jessica at the time, and we drove from sporting goods store to sporting good store trying to find fishing gear that would fit in the bottle while eating chocolate Skittles.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Wholphin" or "How I Learned to Get a Job"

Thanks to Netflix, I rented "Wholphin 6," a collection of independent short films. There was one about a kid in London who lived next door to a crazy man who banged on the wall all the time. Another film was a documentary about Chinese third graders who battle over the job of class monitor. A surprising film featured some hardcore gangstas who stole a fancy SUV in order to get to Jersey to purchase expensive tennis shoes. They wanted to buy matching shoes for their friend's seeing-eye shetland pony (he was allergic to dogs). Yes, I said seeing-eye pony. They needed the matching shoes so they could match with the pony for their prom pictures. No, I can't make this up. Another film just featured an Australian stunt man who escaped from the trunk of a moving car.

None of these films were very good. But each one of them had a lengthy set of credits. Lots of people worked really hard on these films. And that brought me back to my days as a BYU film student. Several years of my life (okay, like three...) revolved around making these same sort of silly short films. This was a very serious thing back then. We stayed up late into the night preparing shooting schedules, props, costumes, etc... A lot of my classmates opened credit cards and went into major debt funding these films, which often cost several thousand dollars.

Even after we graduated, several of my friends hung around Provo making more and more short films. Short documentaries, comedic shorts, dramatic shorts, speculative ads. You name it, they (okay, "we") made it. Almost everyone I knew said things like, "oh, that would make a great short." It seemed like that's all my friends and I talked about.

And then something happened. My friend Michael Moore (no, not that Michael Moore), said something that pretty much summed up everything I felt. He said, "No one is getting anywhere hanging around making these short films. I'm going to stop making them because I need to get a job and move on with my life."

It was like my apprehension was validated, knowing that someone else shared my feelings. I stopped working on short films and I moved on with my life. I recognized that independent film wasn't going to ever become profitable for me. I needed a real career. I needed health insurance. So I took a lousy job which provided those things while I completed my M.Ed. degree. When that was done, I became a teacher. This was never my dream job, but it has evolved into something I love, and I don't ever regret it. But sometimes I wonder what could have happened if I'd just stuck with it.

Now I know. Despite my best effort, my cherished (and expensive) film would maybe have worked through the festival circuit, only to end up on a DVD compilation like Wholphin, while prestigious, would not have likely paid my bills. I'd be working at Blockbuster trying to pay off the debt of a lousy short film.