Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm terrible- I know!

I apologize to all of you for not reading your blogs. I was doing so well and then... everything went to hell in a hand basket. My time had just gotten away from me, somehow. Between driving Mac's play practice car pool, subbing, my trip, sewing, packing, laundry, and whatever the hell else I do (I have no idea other than nap. I love napping; napping is good) and talking on the phone to Sam (ohhhhhhhhh, that could be where all my time goes....), I have not read your blogs. Your wonderful, funny, witty, grand blogs. I'm so very sorry! And I want to say I'll do better but.... with Ireland looming in front of me in 6 days (!!!!!!!) I know I won't So I'm sorry!

But here's a deal- I'm going to read everyone and get all caught up before I go. then I'll be a total slacker the entire time I'm in Europe but give me a few days once I get back, get resettled, un-jetlagged and unpacked, then I promise to get back in my routine.

Thanks to all of you who keep on reading me even though I make ghost like non-appearances at your blogs!!!!!

Begging your pardons,

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I could use some suggestions

I want to bring Sam a nice gift next week. And I have no idea what... I have to battle customs so a nice bottle of wine is out. And I want to do something fun but clever and whimsical and not trite...

So... I was thinking about a desk compass, engraved- but is that too... I dunno, businessy? I also was thinking of a copy of either War and Peace or Ana Karenina- both by Tolstoy- an antique, leather bound copy if I could find one- would go along with our running joke and could be cute. But I'm not sure about either.

I'm open to suggestions... any thoughts?

I go nuthin',

And another reason why atheism isn't so bad

I'm in line at the Dollar Tree the other day and two employees are talking while one of them rings up my purchases:

Employee 1- "I can't believe this is such a paperless society."
Employee 2- "Oh I know. It's terrible, but bound to happen."
1- "Oh, I know. It's in the Bible. Revolutions, [she did say this word- not a typo] ya know."
2- "I know, I know. Amen. You know my preacher told us we should all pray for that Obama fella when he was elected"
1- "Mine did the same."
2- "Well, the other day he said we should stop because he's the Anti-Christ!"
1- "Oh my."
2- "Well he is you know. It's in the Bible, says he is right there in Revelations."
1- "Amen sister. Amen."


The stupidity of some folks. And I want you all to know that my filter was working and I said nothing and just grabbed my stuff and left... I was too shocked by the Dumbness and afraid it would be contagious.

Blasphemously yours,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The little things say what?

I have MSN messenger as an IM program. Lots of my former Wild West students use it and we have each other listed. One of the features is that users can have a personalized message next to their names. Most of the time, people leave it blank, but of late, it seems just about darn near everyone on my list has a little message.

Hecate's is "I am so sick of snow." And Booknut's reads, "Sleeping, I hope" since she is the mother of my all too perfect niece the Divine Ms. K. Mac has "black holes in the sky" and I have no idea what that means. One flaky 8th grade student has "I fell hard like a tear drop." I have no idea what's going on there but it just screams "boy" trouble. I personally have a quote: "If you can't say something nice, then come sit next to me."

But my all time favorite is one of my former student's. She is a person who is rather shy but has a very dry since of humour, that is quite wicked, once you get to know here. I saw this and it made me laugh out loud, it just was silly enough to make me giggle:

"I told your boyfriend he was gay...then he hit me with his purse."

Nonsensically yours,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hats off to the Ledger family

Sunday was the Oscar's and I watched most of it. Over the years I've always watched it all, from start to finish. It used to be such a big part of my life that I would make sure I saw all the movies that were nominated for best picture before the airing of the awards. Sometimes I also had Oscar parties.

For some reason, I just couldn't get excited about it this year. I don't know if it's something I'm out growing or if it was the selection of movies that I just couldn't get excited about. Who knows? I didn't print a ballot and pick my winners. I didn't get special Oscar food. I didn't get a live link on the Internet so I could watch the walks off the carpet. I didn't dive into the Oscar website and read every article. I just didn't have it in my this year to care.

BUT. Yes, there is a very big BUT here.

Heath Ledger. Ledger was nominated for best actor for his outstanding work at the Joker in The Dark Knight. I want to say that his portrayal of this role was incredible. It blew me away. he was scary all the way down to his walk, the twitches, the tongue rolling, the manically laugh. He embodied that character and made him super creepy. His death had nothing to do with his ability, in my eyes. I thought his performance was astounding.

I wanted to watch the Oscars this year to see if he won. And he did. And it was amazing. His mum, father and sister accepted on his behalf. they did have prepared speeches. They were not overly emotional. They were not gut wrenching, it didn't tear at my heart strings. But it was touching and powerful. It was classy, and I think the simplicity of their acceptance, their grace under this tragedy made it a celebration of his life and Ledger's body of work. It was their classy words that made tears in the eyes of the audience flow.

Well done. Well deserved. And one of the best Oscar moments I've ever seen.

This is why I love the magic of Hollywood,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Sam story...I know, I'm making you all sick

Sam and I talk on the phone every night, as I think I've mentioned. And we've talked on the phone every night since that's all we have- that and Instant Messaging plus emails. All telecommunication mediums. I don't think I've ever loved technology so much.

We talk every night. We revel in the chaos that is our lives and how to blend us together over the thousands of miles and the Pond that separates.

S0, yes we talk every night- usually a few hours, until the wee hours of the morning in Ireland, when he should be in bed sleeping, but instead he's telling me anything and everything just mere hours before he needs to get up and go to the office. We whisper secrets into the dark, share our fears and thoughts about everything, we share our past lives, our desires, wants, needs, and play 'what if' with our future, our stories, and many many laughs. We just click, in a strange way that is so very good. And he's quoted some movie (neither of us can remember which one- When Harry Met Sally?!) because he said it sums up how he feels very well. He said he likes that he wants my voice to be the last one he hears at night before he sleeps... and he can't wait until it's the first one he hears in the morning... Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my.

Sam went to Amsterdam this weekend for business. Well, Friday and Saturday were in Amsterdam for pleasure- a mini vacation- and then Sunday until Wednesday are business in a town about 30 minutes outside of the city. And while in Amsterdam, he is enjoying... a particular offering of the city which is legal. He also told me that he MUST keep conversations on Sunday through Tuesday nights brief so he can get some sleep and be at the top of his game for business with potential new clients. Now, to recap the weekend talks: our conversation on Friday was brief; he booked my ticket and we chatted about his trip and my upcoming visit and the wonders of the State Department and my First Passport Ever. Saturday afternoon he called and it was... a brief conversation, which made me laugh and he doesn't remember.

Then there was Sunday night's phone call. Or shall I say calls? He called and I wasn't near my phone and he left a delightful message. (Some of you who've known me for a loooong time will get the ironic humour here.) He said "I'm in The Middle of Fucking Nowhere, Holland and have no Internet and no cell service. I'll try back in a half hour. If you want to call me, here's my hotel phone number and room number..." He called a second time and again, I missed the call- Mac and I were playing music in the car way too loudly. That message said, "Sorry I missed you again. If you get this message in the next 10 minutes, give me a call." This one came in about... 1:45 AM his time. I missed the 10 minute window so I figured I was just out a phone call from him, for the first time in over a month, damn it!

Ah, but I was wrong... he called me at 2 am his time. Because he missed talking to me before bed time. Because the weekend didn't allow for our regular phone call routine. Because he has it bad for me. Because he doesn't sleep as well if he doesn't chat with me before bed. Because of me. I couldn't stop smiling because it was 2 am in the morning, he was seeing clients at 7 am and he missed me, wanted to hear the sound of my voice. Even though he told me last week we couldn't have a late night chat, he still called me. He likes me, he really likes me! This boy has it BAD!!!!

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't tell, but guess what? So do I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somebody likes me lots,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- new tennis shoes!

Okay, so I haven't owned a new pair of tennis shoes since I bought a pair of Reeboks in an outlet mall in Maine in July 2001. Daddy-O thought I should have new ones for my Ireland trip so he took me to a Shoe Carnival where they had a sale on Sketchers. I've never owned a pair before but I tried some on and... WOW! I think I could like tennis shoes. These feel like I have nothing on my feet. I also feel short. Everything I own has a heel.... this is cool.

Now I think this bag would look cute with the shoes. It's a little pink suede cosmetic bag with faux fur trim... I haven't ever carried it as a "purse" but I think it could be. And the pink goes well with my sneakers.

In shoes we Trust,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A to Z meme

Midwest with a bit of Canuck and Montanan thrown in for fun... my accent is a complete mish-mash

Breakfast or no breakfast:
I LIKE breakfast and I feel better when I eat it but I'm not a morning person so it's iffy if I consume such

Chore I don’t care for:

Dog or Cat:
I don't have either, but I would prefer having a chocolate lab rather than a cat

Essential Electronics:
Cell phone, iPod, DVD player and laptop

Favorite Perfume:
Chanel No. 5

Gold or Silver:

Handbag I carry most often:
I actually switch bags several times a week but I do like the a basic black bag with long straps

Oh hell yes... most of the time my sleep is for shit

Job Title:

worthless substitute teacher

I have one kid, who is more than plenty some days

Living Arrangements:
Live with dad right now; according to this week's Time magazine I'm pretty normal- part of the "Boomerang" generation who can't survive this economy

Most Admirable Trait:
I’m always good for a laugh and I want everyone to be happy

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior:
I'm more of a naughty adult than I was a naughty child

Overnight hospital stays:
had a baby

BIG spiders and mice

“Life is not the destination but the journey" or "I've had a good time but this wasn't it"~ Woody Allen or "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit next to me"- Mae West

Reason to smile:

a younger brother and I count my sister in law

Time I wake up:
Whenever the hell I feel like it on weekends and days when I don't sub; at 6:20 am on subbing days

Unusual Talent or Skill:
I can't write that here

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat:

Worst Habit:
I suck with money.

Foot when I broke it, teeth at dentist, had my back x-rayed too

Yummy Stuff:
Pasta, Hawaiian meatballs, sugar cream pie, pastries, shrimp, pizza, bacon and cheese covered french fries, crab, a steak, chicken and dumplings, bacon--I just love food!

Zoo Animal I Like Most:

Thanks to Tense Teacher for my weekly meme!

As always, it's all about MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME,


Friday, February 20, 2009


Hey guess what? My passport is here. I feel the love for everyone!! Whoot whoot! I've been happy dancing all day looooooooooooong!

I called and told AmericaninIreland Sam and he had my flight booked within minutes. I leave on March 5 and come back on March 15- maybe. And why is that return date a maybe? BeCAUSE Sam wants to take be on a special surprise side trip! It that comes to fruition I'd be back to Civilization on March 18. The side trip possibilities are anywhere in Italy, Vienna, London, Amsterdam or Paris. I.CAN'T. HARDLY. WAIT. No one is going to be able to stand me for 2 weeks.


Soon to be world traveler,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've lost that lovin' feelin'

I finally learned that my passport was mailed on Tuesday, from New Orleans. Then yesterday it was in Memphis, TN. For some reason today it was in Arkansas. My passport is taking its own vacation apparently.

Yesterday when I learned where it was, I figured my passport was flying Northwest Airlines (those of you who travel often will understand this reference) because that seems to be the right route. I thought it it would actually be here, say... TODAY. I found the tracking number and followed it online via USPS. When I got home from school on my lunch hour, which I purposely left for so I could get the passport, it wasn't there. After sending Sam a text message using every swear word I know and cursing the following: (and I quote) "I hate the USPS, the passport office, the State Department, Northwest Airlines, and Hillary," I decided to track it down. So, based on what I learned, I guess it should be here tomorrow. I'm thinking "yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it."

I missed meeting Sam in Amsterdam on Saturday with this delay. And his business trip to Amsterdam was extended to Brussels, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. I'm missing ALL of those because my passport didn't arrive yesterday or today. I would say "not happy" describes me. As of now, it looks like I'll be in Dublin and visit some of the countryside and I'm taking an overnight into Scotland via the ferry. Unless any of you rich readers want to send me large amounts of cash so I can go into London!

He's reserved my ticket for Thursday March 5, 2009 with a 24 hour hold so if I get my passport tomorrow he'll book me immediately. Here's hoping, so please cross your fingers, do a happy dance, pray to whatever god or goddess that ails ya, chant, swear in Hebrew, whatever- that I will please get my passport on Friday!!!

And when I started thinking about it, between Tuesday when it was posted and tomorrow, I could've driven to New Orleans, picked up the passport in person, had a hurricane or 2 or 7 at Paddy O's, performed at the Cat's Meow, earned some beads, and have been back by the time my mail runs tomorrow!!!!

Singin' the passport blues,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Subbing Part II- writing referrals

Yesterday I had to write two referrals on 2 kids. They were throwing spit wads, smacking each other, swearing at me and just being, specifically, little assholes. I wrote the referrals and out of class they went. There was a third kid at the table and I could never bust him as part of it so I didn't write him up. Also, this kid was not smarmy to me, nor was he disrespectful. He also helped clean up the mess.

So I went to school today and while there I learned that the 2 kids who I tossed were sent to In School Suspension and the other was sent to an out of school suspension program. The third kid sitting at the desk was also given 3 days of In School Suspension. The other boys ratted him out. I thought that was completely unfair that he was in trouble as well because the worst thing he would've done was throw the spit wads.

Honestly I didn't care about the spit wads; what caused the referral in the first place was the culmination of the spit wads, the claims they didn't do anything, the grabbing and hitting at each other, calling me names, calling each other names and then refusing to pick up their mess and calling me a "fat bitch." The third kid didn't do ANY of that stuff so I think it sucks he has to suffer with the other subhuman neanderthals.

Because I've been subbing in the same room, for all intrinsic purposes, for the last week and a half, the kids are starting to know me. Today I had another sub in the room with me- this is a resource room and it's shared between 2 teachers and today they were both out. So this other sub is walking the room and some kid threatens to "punch you in the face" when she tells him to stop playing computer video games and to get busy. She wrote a referral on him and he was removed immediately.

You know what? There were more referrals written in the last 2 days than I wrote the entire time I taught high school back in the Wild West. It's sad that these high school students are so mean and disrespectful. When I complained about how disrespectful my Wild West kids were I had no idea. I had it easy. I was wrong. My Wild West kids were saints by comparison. I miss my Wild West kids.

I could go on and on about what I feel are the differences and am feeling very disgruntled. What really sums it up is:

This makes me never want to teach again.

On a career path to nowhere,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The State Department isn't feeling the love apparently

I think Hilary Clinton is the anti-Cupid. I still have no passport!!!!

I cannot find my status on their website any more, either. I've called and asked about it with no answers that are useful.

Sam has called every Washington contact he has and no one can touch my passport application which is somewhere in the Philly office.

And I was supposed to leave on Friday... guess that's not gonna happen. AND I'm missing a holiday with him in Amsterdam. He's still going, and I don't blame him. It's part pleasure and part business. I'm jealous and just sick about it; this sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pissy pink,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finish the sentence meme...

1. My uncle once gave me good advice.

2. Never in my life have I had a threesome.

3. When I was five was walking to the public library by myself, a whole block away.

4. High school was pretty terrible and was something I felt I had to endure to get started on my real life. They were NOT the best years of my life, most assuredly.

5. I will never forget to tell the people nearest and dearest to me that I love them!

6. Once I met Woody Allen on an elevator.

7. There’s this boy I know who likes me a whole bunch, and lives in Ireland.

8. Once, at a bar, I made an ass of myself and took a strange Sam home. It wasn't pleasant the next morning, but he turned out to become a friend (Trooper).

9. By noon, I’m starved!!!!

10. Last night I had another phone date with Sam and it was sweet and funny and... good. Oh so very good. We debated the merits of American journalism, and discussed photography.

11. If only I had a job, money, a passport...

12. Next time I go to church will probably be on Christmas eve.

13. What worries me most is that I am failing my family, somehow. That I'm causing my father stress, that I don't have a job that can satisfy me, that wanderlust is strong, that I'm, a bad mother, that I sing off key, that I laugh too loudly, I'll get a broken heart, that I have too many shoes... these days I worry about it all.

14. When I turn my head left I see Daddy-O's piano and my old cradle that's set up for the Divine Ms. K.

15. When I turn my head right I see Daddy-O's computer, a table, chair and a lamp.

16. You know I’m lying when I – my family reads this- I'm not telling. But for the most part, I suck at lying.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is nothing.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be Katarina from The Taming of the Shrew.

19. By this time next year I will have a new life doing amazing things somewhere, earning money and being happy.

20. A better name for me would be The Insane One

21. I have a hard time understanding math.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll take classes that will make me more marketable. if I could go to school as a career- professional student- I would love to study art history, literature, philosophy, law, and anthropology.

23. You know I like you if I talk to you more than once.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be Daddy-O.

25. Take my advice, never be afraid to take chances, to go for the funny, to be stupid in public, and don't ever eat the big white mint or yellow snow.

Thank TT for the great meme! And I swear my answer is dead honestly the same as yours in #18!!!!

It's all about MEMEMEMEMEMEME,


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- just some casual fun!

My ugly brown leather Mary Janes and a pleather purse in red. Something cute, something fun, something casual!

In Shoes we Trust,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Anyone want to hear a happy Valentine's day story?

Last night I had a phone date with Sam. We decided we would set a time and just talk until one of us was ready to fall asleep.

We talked for several hours and we each drank a bottle of wine. This is an interesting way to get to know each other because it's all about talking and sharing. We can't kill time with a movie or doing stuff- we are getting to know each other since we're a continent apart, separated by an ocean. We talk just about every day, every night.

It was funny because last night we concluded that we've told each other stuff that we haven't ever told other people, which is cool, and scary. We laugh LOTS and tell stories. We debate politics, talk about the news, films, books, our lives. We giggle and sigh and are often times very stupid and teenage like. We talk jobs and families.

And since we actually had a date, we were sweet and silly and just relaxed. It was our Valentine's Day since we couldn't be together, we did our own thing.

Background so what he did makes sense: Sam moved to Ireland for... a change in life. He asked his wife of 10 years for a divorce and then got the heck out of dodge. He was sick of working in a Bush DC and thought he would just flee the country and do something he always wanted- live internationally. The time was right, the job offer was irresistible and he went. He, of course, had no idea he would meet an American still in the States that he was "intrigued" by and that he found "beautiful, smart, charming, sexy, smarmy when necessary, and witty." <-- That's me he's talking about!!!! I understand him, I "get" this, wanderlust??? I mean, does this guy sound like anyone we know- maybe some crazy girl who moved to the Wild West to teach school??? Hmmmmmm? Anyone? Anyone?

So... here we are, with a Pond between us, feeling a bit melancholy and whimsical, on the eve of Valentine's Day, having a silly phone date, chatting in the darkness, drinking our wine when he gave me a Valentine's gift. He... well... he... sang to me. He had a beautiful voice, with some classical training thrown in, and he... he put a head set on (phone) and grabbed his guitar and sang and played me a song. The. Most. Romantic. Thing. In. History. O.M.G!!!!!! Yes, schmaltzy. Yes, you can't believe it and I know Farrago is rolling his eyes and throwing up in the back of his mouth a little bit. BUT-- it was charming, sweet, perfect. I... I... and it gets BETTER. He picked a song. And had to learn it for this occasion. And I'm putting the lyrics (and a youtube video) here because, well, because he's a guy who picked this particular song. Oh hell, I'm not gonna spell it out- just read the words, and it will make sense. "It's a Long Way Back Home" by BNL.

My dear Goddess, help me, help us all because... I like him; I really like him.... Oh dear. Oh dear... Can a phone date be one of the best dates ever?

Happy *Heart* Day! Love and kisses,

It's a long way back home
to pack up and leave again
Together alone
You without me again

It's a long way back home
and a long way back here again
I should have known
That you would just bleed again

For the first time I knew what to do
The first time it's just me and you
and then the worst timing I ever knew
I have to go
I already know

It's a long way back home
To feel like I'm far away
How should I know
What goes on here anyway?

For the first time I knew what to do
The first time it's just me and you
and then the worst timing I ever knew
I have to go
I already know

Why not spend a week on a star
No time, he can't get there by car
When we get some time on our own
We'll plan our next year alone

It's a long way back home
from just about anywhere
'Cause once through the door
I'm not even halfway there

For the first time I knew what to do
The first time it's just me and you
and then the worst timing I ever knew
I have to go
I already know

It's a long way back home

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birth control drama and other bits and pieces

When I lived in the Wild West I had a great doc, but because of an illness in her family she closed up shop and moved to Kansas- this happened right after my annual physical.

So now it's a year later and I need to get my BC pill script renewed but to do that, like all women know, I need to go for my physical. But I just moved back to Civilization and I don't have an OBGYN. I called around and the soonest I can get in with anyone is about 10-12 weeks. 10 weeks?!? But I need that script NOW.

So, I call my Wild West doc's office and chat with her old nurse who is still there but with the new doc. I tell her about the move and the lad in appointments. She gets the new doc to agree to write me a script. Then they have to call it in to a Wal-Mart Pharmacy in the Wild West. I have to call the Wal-Mart pharmacy here and the pharmacist here will call there and then I can go get my pills. I have never experienced such a mess before. I still don't have the pills in my hot little hands yet. I'm supposed to call on Saturday and make sure it all happened. We also have the 2 hour time difference to contend with and did I mention today is Friday the 13th so I'm sure this will not work out as smoothly as I hoped?

In other news... Sam and I have a phone date tonight. I know that sounds silly but we're just gonna set aside time for us to blab for as long as we want- and we're each breaking out a bottle of wine and will settle in for a good talk. He likes me. I kinda think he's swell too.

No passport yet and that is making me cranky. I am now officially NOT a fan of the US State Department. According to their web site on the day my was posted in the mail, I should've received it by now! I made a phone call or two and it looks like I'm going to have a better chance of seeing Sam in April in San Fran, CA than I will getting to Ireland at the end of this month.

My sub schedule was changed today and I subbed for- of all things- a calculus class and other advanced maths. Obviously they were on their own. I have no idea what a logarithm even is. It was a lovely way to fell stupid all day. BUT it was a huge step up for me since I had been subbing in special ed. all week.

And did I mention I read 4 novels this week? Gee, I love subbing.

It's Friday the 13th- upheaval is par the course, right?

Fate tempter,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chillin' with Mac

Mac and I saw the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It sucked. it so very much sucked. It sucked more than any more I've watched in a very loooooooooong time. There are not words to describe how bad that movie actually is. It's every bit as bad as you can imagine.

The upside was that I got to hang out with Mac. Daddy-O took us to supper at a local Chinese place and then he went to church choir practice while Mac and I saw the movie. I would have rather been at choir, and since you know how I feel about church, that's saying lots! But the food and the company were all good! And Mac makes me laugh, most of the time.

He'd been a butthead the last several days, whether it was PMS (pre-man syndrome) or just because he's 15 but he was in a good mood that night. I also convinced him to get a much needed hair cut. It wasn't nearly as short and I wanted it to be but it's now off his collar and out of his eyes. If I could just convince him to get rid of the black hair dye that he thinks makes him look older, we'd be all set. I think the black hair dye look stupid, frankly, because his coloring is so fair and when he grows his beard in, it's red. And at 15 he does grow in his beard- he's a hairy little sucker- he can shave in the morning and have a shadow by noon!

So, hanging with Mac was a good thing... and we got complimentary popcorn at the movie theater- what could be better than that?

Mac's mama,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heard in the classroom today

The set up: The freshman girl earned a can of Pepsi as a prize and was allowed to drink it during class, and had been do so, minding her own business. A boy sitting next to her reaches over and takes a big pull from her soda, uninvited.

And here's what I heard her say:

"Hey, I wouldn't do that if I were you. You don't know where my mouth has been."

Grossed out in high school,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My thoughts on subbing-Part I

Subbing is interesting, as I have mentioned before. I've been in the high school several days- and I like is so so so much better than the middle school kids!!!!- and am starting to put names and faces together- and they are recognizing me back. One thing that's interesting is that Daddy-O works in the middle school so lots of these high school kids were his students 'back in the day.' Some like me because of that connection, which is a bonus for me. Hey, I can take what help I can get as a substitute teacher.

I've rarely had much discipline issues at the high school level. As a former "real teacher" ,as the kids say, they seems to settle down for me pretty well. Also, I realize that as a sub I have to give them a little bit of leeway and as long as they are respectful to me me and each other, follow the majority of the rules, and keep the chit-chat within reason, I'm pretty easy going. And as a sub, you have to be.

Take for instance the other day when a young man came in a little late. He had a pass and he wasn't disruptive but he missed my instructions for the class period, and he missed my name. So he raised his hand and said, "Hey Sweetheart, what do I do in section 4?" The class sucked air and I had to make a quick decision. My response was: "That's Ms. Sweetheart to you, or Ms. [Maggie] if you prefer. And you need to answer all the questions in complete sentences, omitting the diagram in number 4." He grinned, the class exhaled, giggles were heard and we moved on. The next time he addressed me I was Ms. [Maggie].

Could I have been a royal bitch and made a big deal out of it? Yeah, sure but at what cost and to what end? Who really cared? Was it appropriate? Nope. BUT... I was a sub and I had to pick my battles. I didn't give him what he wanted and he was respectful next time. And each time he's seen me in the hallway he waves, says "hi" and I hear him tell his friends I'm cool. And though it's not my job to be liked-but as a substitute teacher it makes life a helluva lot easier.

Another day I was in a math class (oh yeah, go ahead and laugh- I was hopeless! I let them know that "English majors do NOT do math!) and the kids knew I was just back from the Wild West. I told them there were more students in that one math class than in the entire junior and senior class at the school I came from. I gave them about 5 minutes to Q and A me about where I taught and they thought it was cool and were amazed. We connected a little bit and then that class worked hard, were polite to me, and when I run into them now in other classes, or in the hallway, they are polite and speak. It's nice to be able to relate to these kids. (Another way I connected was to be honest with them that I had no idea at all how to solve for "x", I had no idea why the exponent was a letter, I couldn't graph fractions, and that I feel letters have no place in math...)

I was in a special education resource room and one senior girl was totally lost with Macbeth. (Don't even ask ME why a special ed. student doing Macbeth, okay? The brief answer is because NCLB is suck ass legislation!!!) Anyway, I digress... I sat with the girl and explained an entire scene to her in "regular English" as she called it and she understood. I tied it to lots of pop culture references, commercials, music, and used appropriate slang in an effort to make it "real" for her. Then she answered the questions and asked me to check them- and she got them all correct. She also knows I'll be in her building every day for the next 2 weeks and asked if she could see me each day to help explain her reading; of course I said yes, even if I'm not in her room she said she would come after school. Again, I said yes. Hey, it was one light bulb moment- go HER!

Your "Ms. Sweetheart",

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sam's Revenge

Sam and I talk on the phone every day. For hours and hours usually...

And before you all think the prices are crazy for international calls, he's lucky because he has an American cell phone still so we use that- no worries!

But the time difference is a really bitch- it's 5 hours- him being 5 hours ahead of me, I should say. So when he's settled in for the night and nearing bedtime, it's only 6 or 7 pm here. He's also very much a night owl and hates to sleep, a true insomniac if I ever met one (he puts me to shame there) so he often calls a bit later in the evening, closer to 1 am his time, 8 pm mine. And then we always end up talking for a few hours... There have been times in the last few weeks when he's gone to sleep near sunup.

He said there were many mornings of late when he's awoke cursing my name... hmmmmm! I don't want him cursing my name!

This is not entirely my fault, but we did decide he had to straighten out his sleeping habits. I always know when he's near the end of a conversation because he babbles in French and Spanish, sings songs from musicals or talks about puffins... ah, the ramblings and musings of the sleep deprived! Anyway, but the sleeping habits were not to be straightened out over this past weekend. Oh no!

Since Sam went to visit friends in Northern England since he was stranded in the country for the weekend, he had the pleasure of attending a costume stag and doe (British version of a bachelor and bachelorette costume party combo) and a birthday party two nights in a row. So Friday night he leaves me a message early in the day and tells me he isn't sure he'll have cell service, not sure of the plans, blah blah blah and he didn't know if he would call. BUT he called me at 3 am his time when he got home from the 70s club. And he was quite pissed- in the British way, not the American way: he was DRUNK. He drunk dialed me and I promise to let him live it down. And we ended up chatting for about 3 hours and he saw the sun come up and then went to bed, promptly. (Hmmmmm, Vampire? maybe- he has to have a fatal flaw; all men do and I haven't found his... YET!) But before signing off he said he wouldn't be calling on Saturday because it was going to be insane. Uh-huh.

On Saturday night at 11 pm EST I was in bed ready to fall asleep and thought he was actually right for once and he hasn't called. I hoped he was having a good time (okay, not too good) and I figured I'd hear all about it on Sunday night when he phoned from, hopefully, Ireland.

However, Sam decided that these last several weeks of late night phone calls for him were to be avenged. He called me when he got home from the party/clubbing. It was 6am his time and 1 am EST. I was sound asleep. And I guess when I first answered I told him I couldn't make bail... then I became more fully awake and stopped dreaming (no idea what I was dreaming that would have to do with bail...) and we talked for about 3 hours!!!

I will admit that I did fall back asleep pretty quickly but when I woke up at 10am it was my turn to curse his name. But it wasn't that bad. At least I didn't have to go to work like he usually does when this nonsense occurs.

We decided we both hate "the Pond" and life would be much simpler if we were in the same... oh say, continent! country! time zone! city! room! And... well, you get the picture!

Your sleepy

an aside: At the time of the writing of this post his plane was scheduled to depart New Castle, England on time!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- I long for summer

Some of my old flip-flops which have seen better days... but I think summer would be "better days." I'm so tired of being cold and I just want to grab my nothing little shoes, my straw bag, don a cap* and hit the beach!

*Please take special note of my PINK President Obama Inaugural cap! Yeah, a souvenir from Sam! Yeah he buys me presents!

In Shoes we trust,

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weird Question Meme

Do you wear slippers?
Yes; and usually with socks. I hate for my feet to be cold.

How many pictures are in your living room?
It's Daddy-O's living room. If I look at my last apartment in the Wild West, I had 7 family/ friend photos and 8 paintings

Do you wear a bra to bed at night?
NO. Hell no.

Do you ever watch Brady Bunch reruns?
only if I'm stuck on the couch, pinned under something heavy and can't reach the remote. I guess a simple No would've sufficed. BUT, I did love the show when I was a kid.

Are you allergic to anything?
Annoying people

When was the last time you called in sick?
I don't since I sub

Have you ever been in a car accident?
Yes; I was side swiped in during rush hour in the Capital city once. That was a long day.

What is your favorite snack food?
Chocolate or pastry or Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks

Do you think you have a big butt?
yup- junk in the trunk

Would you like to look like your mom when you are her age?
my mom is dead, so I would say nope.

Have you ever seen a tornado?
A few times, yes

Do you think Barack Obama is sexy?
Well, he's the most powerful man in the world and power can be an aphrodisiac. But just as an over all guy, not sexy really, but his voice is yummy.

If you won a million dollars, what would you buy first?
a plane ticket

What time is it right now?
Time to take a shower and go to Curley's house to sew

Are you pregnant?
I can certainly fucking hope not. And if I am, well Houston, we have a problem.

Have you ever been pregnant?

Do you like men who wear pink shirts and flip-flops?
What a strange question... pink shirts are fine. Flip flops are a bit... unusual footwear for men.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
There is no way I'm answering this. Let's just say lots. And lots. Over 100 pair if we count flipflops

Do you think you are a hypochondriac?
No- far from it

Do you own a dictionary?
Yes, 2 at home, and had several at school

Where was the last place you went on vacation?
Does Pittsburgh count?

Do you talk about your friends behind their back?
No; see definition of "friend"

Are you actually fat but in complete denial about it?
I’m not in denial about it — I realize I’m overweight.

What color is your mouse pad?
I don't have one

Does your kitchen have a theme?

Do you like to mow the yard?

Are you addicted to using Febreze?
not addicted but I do use it

What is your ring size?
5 1/2, I think...

When was the last time you consumed alcohol?
A week ago Friday night I had several perfect Margaritas- strawberry- at Applebees

Do you know someone who gets food stamps?

Do you have a basement in your home?

Are you still in love with one of your exes?

Any big plans for the summer?
Maybe... If unemployed I hope to go to Europe for 10 weeks

What is your favorite comfort food?
Mashed potatoes or oatmeal

Do you prefer broccoli or asparagus?

What color are your bedroom walls?
Old dingy white

With whom do you live?

Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?
I don't like any of them

How about Harry Potter?
Love him — except in Book 5. The Goblet of Fire was my favorite book.

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

Did you get the popcorn or candy?
I shared popcorn with Mac

What is the most romantic text in your inbox?
"you both look adorable, and your hair looks beatiful" - Sam said this when he saw a picture of me holding the Divine Ms. K. after I got a haircut that was SUPER short

Have you ever played miniature golf on a date?

What’s a phrase you overuse?
“It is the way it is"

Where do you buy most of your shoes?
No one particular place; any where there's a good sale

Do you always use good grammar?
Oh no… I’m perfectly capable, but I find that as a former English teacher it's an attention getter to mangle and malign verbs

Do you have an accent or a speech impediment?
I definitely have an accent which is rather muddled and mushy. I sound southern mostly and it comes out when I’m overly tired or when I’m nervous. I have a glutted accent that blends the Midwest with Wild West speak.

What did you eat today?

Being that it's this early, I've only had oj so far...

What do you do at work?
Attempt to teach; glorified babysitting

Do you know the rules to any sports?
Some rules to some sports

Do you prefer to watch or play sports?

What is your favorite kind of hat to wear?
I love all kinds of hats!

Do you pray?
No... well. sometimes

To whom do you pray?
no one

What is the closest mountain to your house?
Probably the Smokies in Tennessee (damn, to bad I wasn't asked this question 3 months ago when I lived in the Wild West!)

When is the next time you will move?
Soon, I hope

Isn’t there something better you could be doing right now?
More productive, maybe… but better, no.

Is there anything good on TV?
Good is relative- I like to watch Grey's Anatomy to the point where I watch it online if I miss it on Thursday nights. I like to watch CSI: NY, Without a Trace, Numbers, Two and a Half Men, and Cold Case but if I miss those shows I don't really care... I do miss watching the show Men in trees and October Road- I guess they were canceled?????? And I like reruns of West Wing, Northern Exposure, and Gilmore Girls! Then there's Sex and the City- do I need to say more?

What are your nicknames and who gave them to you?
Maggie- long story as to where it came from; Professor- former students from my college teaching days; Gracie- from my father; Mom- from Mac

How often do you wear jewelry?
Almost daily

What size engine is in your vehicle?
ummmmmm, I dunno

What do you need to do tomorrow?
Laundry but I'll probably go to a movie instead

Do you love anyone?
well, yes

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stranded in England

This isn't my story but I'm sharing it anyway because it just cracks me up.

AmericninIreland Sam had a business trip. He left Dublin Tuesday night and stayed in a hotel outside of London. Wednesday morning he gave a presentation to a company in London. Then he needed to go to Leeds, England and was going to take a flight from Leeds back to Dublin on Wednesday night.

He has taken just about every form of transportation available- he was on planes, trains, in taxis, a bus, and the Tube.

Wednesday night his flight to Dublin was canceled so he took a cab to Manchester, England and spend the night, figuring he would get a flight the next day. But it snowed in Ireland again, thus shutting down the airport. So come Thursday he was still stranded.

We talked last night and he was kicking himself for not getting on the ferry. But he figured he would just fly out today. We've laughed about the misadventure because 2 days in a row he was off to the airport only to sit for hours and hours and then to be told his flight was canceled.

Well, today was going to be the day! He went to Manchester to catch his flight and... it was canceled. Busy runways, busy air space and more bad weather. Guess who is still stuck somewhere in England? It's a 40 minute flight for him to get home. That's it.

And he can't get the ferry tonight either... So, thankfully some of his friends have a "country place" in northern England and it's Friday, so Sam being Sam, said "fuck it" and hopped on a three hour train ride to see his friends at their country home for the weekend.

He called to tell me his tale of woe today and as he stood there in the Manchester, England airport he started pricing tickets to come to the States to see me- since he can't get out of England and back to Ireland, he thought the odds of getting here were good. Only the ticket into Chicago was just $1723, 20- he would be landing NOW if he bought that on the spur of the moment, but he wanted to know if I would contribute the $23.20. I said sure! The closest he could get at the cheapest price was NYC for about $1100. So... did I mention he was going to stay with friends after a three hour train ride in northern England?

Oh, and Sam only brought the one change of clothes in a carry on bag. His travel clothes he had on Tuesday and his suit for Wednesday- he went shopping as well... poor baby!

Then he goes on to tell me that things like this always happen to him when he travels- maybe it's better than I'm meeting him in Europe somewhere? Though at this rate, I'll arrive in Dublin before he will. I said as much and he told me he would call the landlord to let me in his flat and would I mind so much washing up the dishes and doing a tidy?

I wish I was trapped in England,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

And while I'm complaining...

I'm just in a snit, okay? It happens. I try to not let the little things bother me, but yesterday a whole bunch of little things just made me irritable and cranky.

I hate this weather. I'm tired of being cold.

I want to see AII Sam and wish my passport would show up so we could schedule the dates of my trip to Europe rather than talk about it. And talk about it. And talk about it.

Some crazy woman cut me off at the gas station. It was one of those situations: I pulled in and no matter what pump I had to wait in line for I would be facing cars- we were all in hodge-podge directions. So, I decide I would just back in. The guy who was at the pump knew what I was doing. I swing my car around to back it- anyone watching would know that's what I was doing- EXCEPT for the BITCH in the in charcoal gray Vibe. As soon as I turned the wheel and moved three inches, she nosed in between me and the guy getting fuel. I was astounded. I couldn't move- she left me no room to back up and I couldn't go forward anymore because of a truck. The dude in the truck saw what happened and made some room and I got backed in behind her. By the time I turned the MalibuMachine around, she was out pumping her fuel. Then I proceed to get out and yell at her: "Hey you in Vibe! You who just cut me off and butted in line like a 3td grader! You in the gray Vibe who is ignoring me! Yeah, act like you can't hear me, that's right! This is bad karma, lady! Good luck on the road, you rude creation!" I was yelling this pretty loudly. I know she heard me- everyone heard me and was laughing at her (or they were laughing at me- could go either way). The gas station attendant looked worried, like I was going to go postal on her ass. I was fuming- and that BITCH had the nerve to drive away without even looking at me. When I finally pulled up to the pump, the attendant said he couldn't believe she did that and it was the rudest thing he'd seen for awhile.

Finally, I went to the post office to mail AII Sam a small package. Something about Ireland and customs... I had to list all the items in the box on a form which he will see, so it won't be a surprise. I spend about $20 on stuff to send- no big deal at all, really, especially since he paid for the entire Pittsburgh trip; it was a thank you gift and something for Valentine's Day. It cost me $20 to mail the box!!!!!!!!!! From now on, he gets a card and virtual presents!

I had to sub for 6th graders yesterday and they are BUTTHEADS. I am not impressed with their sass. At least with the high school kids, they just basically do work and ignore me. The 7th and 8th graders settled when I asked them to. The bratty 6th grade beasts would NOT shut up, would NOT do their work, would NOT focus... the about drove me nucking futs!

Chain text messages are stupid and annoying. And emails.

I'm not so fond of people who send you a text message and then drive out of service. Oh this is such a stupid thing- I have a former student who sends me a text almost every day that says "hey" and when I reply I never get anything back because I know she is driving home from work. By the time I reply she is out of service and then the next day, she sends another "hey." It's irksome.

Some days it's easier to just stay in bed...

Whew, now that I have that off my chest....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am so sick of this weather!

I never thought I would utter the words "I'm sick of snow" but I am! It's really cold today. I'm tired of the biting cold and the snow.

And I think Civilization may be civilization but they do a poor job of taking care of roads and sidewalks. Parking lots are a mess.

And I was looking at the weather in the Wild West today and it's about 50 degrees- and here it's a high of 13 with wind.

I also can't seem to wear the right clothes. I go in a store, classroom, a restaurant or movie theater and I'm either roasting or freezing. There's no inside continuity.

I want a tropical vacation, like a cruise. Wouldn't that be nice? I wonder if I could convince AmericaninIreland Sam that he would like to meet in the Caribbean rather than London? Did you see the snowfall there???? This weather is abhorrent. I realize I'm complaining but I'm just tired of being cold cold cold all the damn time.

Freezing my butt off,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spendin' time with The Divine Ms.K!

I love my niece. I really love my niece. I love her so much that I agreed to babysit for her since her regular babysitter had a family emergency.

I babysat for her for two days. Two whole days. And I would like for Booknut and Philsgirl to stop laughing at me! She's fine and I didn't drop her or break her. Now, I'm a mom. Mac is 15, soon to be 16 years old. I didn't kill him off and other than currently having weird hair and an over excessive amount of sarcasm, I think he's fine so far. But I don't remember this being so hard.

The Divine Ms. K is beautiful and happy and perfect. She is so smart and charming. She loves to be held and she is playful. She's a real pleasure of a baby. She doesn't really cry or anything terrible. She's even cutting teeth right now and isn't bad at all.

Then why the hell am I so tired? We played rattle and sang. We did the "Wheels on the bus" and rocked and napped. We talked baby talk and drank juice. We watched some TV. She used my pink Blackberry to teeth on- is drool in the keyboard covered in my insurance plan? She giggled and smiled. I don't remember the whole baby thing taking this much energy. I was 21 when I did this last time but, I just don't remember it taking this much "oomph."

I would do it again in a heartbeat, of course. She's such a charm, who can resist the love of the Divine Ms. K?

AmericaninIreland Sam and I were talking about babies on Sunday night; I was telling him I was going to be the world's best Auntie by babysitting for 2 days. I think he was worried about the fact that I was spending so much time with her and that my biological clock would start ticking. I told him it wasn't an issue. Well, I had news for him to reinforce what I was saying! In the morning of the first day, I sent him an IM that said: "Rest easy my dear. My biological clock isn't packed in a box in the garage or disabled. It's gone. I do not have one!" He thought that was hilarious. Lost of people thought the more time I spent with her, the more I would want my own baby... NOT!

I love my niece to pieces. And if her mother, Booknut, is reading this, I LOVE babysitting for her! I don't know how women work and take care of babies. I swear it wasn't this hard 16 years ago. Go MOMS!

She who is without a biological clock,

Monday, February 2, 2009

Holy, holy, holy!

Yesterday the Divine Ms. K was christened, and I attended (and the walls of the church did not come tumbling down!) the ceremony. She was such a good little girl. She didn't cry or fuss one little bit when she was sprinkled with the holy water. Then the minister carried her all over the church to show her off to the congregation and she giggled, laughed and smiled the whole time. What a ham! Five months old and already loving all the eyes on her.

And she looked perfectly adorable in her little while velvet dress and making satin bloomers. And she had one of those elastic headband things on, with a bow. And after the ceremony, she laid in her mama's arms and fell asleep. And in her sleep she rubbed her little head and caught her fingers in her headband and snapped her own elastic and woke herself up! She made this little yell and a terrible face but never let loose with a wail but we all thought she would. She shot daggers at her mama, I'm sure thinking it was all her fault!

It was a lovely day and she was such a star!

A star is born,

Writing Topics for the week! Good luck!

Here are this week's writing topics for the Writing Nook! Leave me a comment to let me know you wrote about one of these and I'll link you!

  • Write about a kiss
  • Find your way in a city
  • These are the things women know about love
  • Write about a black-and-white photograph
  • “When I awoke the next morning…”
  • Write about a stranger
  • “Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance. Everybody thinks it’s true”

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Satchels & Shoes- Repeat!

While I have tons of shoes and bags and there is no reason for a repeat, I actually wore my Spectator Pumps today when I attended my niece's christening. And carried my favourite Vera Wang bag...

In Shoes We Trust,