Saturday, July 31, 2010

Out of the mouths of...

I got stuck in the following conversation:

Student: "Mary, you know, the one in the Bible, she ate the apple, right?"
Me: "Nope, Eve ate the apple, and Mary was the mother of Jesus."
Student: "Oh. Eve, that's right, that's the chick's name. It's her fault having a baby hurts, and Adam was the dude who made sin bad. Man, that Adam and Eve were like the Bibe's Bonnie and Clyde. They're totally BA [teen speak for 'bad ass']."
Me: speechless...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Which book character did I "date"?

Once upon a time I lived in a college town that was known as the biggest party school in my state. Now, I was in my early 30s and I wasn't associated with the university, but it was a big part of the town.

I had some friends of all ages who were, however, affiliated with the university, either as students or as employees. Just through a strange turn of events I ended up a house party. I originally went to a friend of a friend's 21st birthday which then sort of moved to a few parties and then onto a house party.

I want to say right up front that I did not buy or give booze to minors. Not then, not now, not since. There was plenty of booze already flowing so there was absolutely no need for me to provide alcohol to anyone. That being said...

I was probably the oldest person at the house party; just what every party needs is a 30+ year old gate crasher. But I had never attended such a party before, the opportunity was there, I was a little lit up so I went along with the rest of the people.

At said house party, music was pounding, the beer in the keg in the bathroom (in the tub) was flowing, and the pot scent was strong. I stood against a wall, holding my cup of warm beer, listening to music. And said "hello" to people who walked by me. Until one "guy" decided he wanted to get to know me.

He comes up and opens with the "so, what's your major" line and then offers me more beer. I'm looking at him, thinking this has to be a joke. Really. I thought my friends put him up to it because... well, I was a little older than 30 and this guy who looked like HARRY POTTER was hitting on me. I am NOT kidding you. He looked just like Harry Potter. And, come to find out, he was 19 years old, even though he just looked like he turned 12. Now, I wasn't so drunk that I didn't know this was a bad bad bad idea. It was also a stupid stupid stupid idea... But Harry Potter just kept on talking to me. And flirting. Well, I think it was flirting because not only did he look like Harry Potter he was about as apt as Harry Potter is with girls.

After about 45 minutes someone screamed "COPS!!!!" And people were fleeing like rats on a sinking ship. What I know now that I didn't know then is that I should not have been there, that if I was arrested and was the oldest person at the party I wouldn've been charged with all sorts of minor/ alcohol related issues, and that me being there was a bad idea-- did I mention that?

What did happen is that I found myself being pushed into the bathroom with the keg. I found myself scrambling to get on top of the keg, shoving open a bathroom window. I found myself going out the window, head first, with Harry Potter shoving my ass to get me through. I found myself laying flat on my back, on the ground, under the window, in a clump of bushes, with Harry Potter landing sort of on me, sort of next to me. Then I found myself running down an alley, holding hands with Harry Potter, running from the cops. At age thirtysomething.

I finally made my way back to my friend's house and they were there, plus some of their friends; we all scattered when the raid warning came in but we all made it back and were all laughing and joking around and collapsing all over the house. And Harry Potter was still there. There was a moment of silence as everyone looked at me and him and I just shrugged and we all watched a movie.

I would like to say it all ended there. But no. Harry Potter was still there, right?

So after the movie, I was most certainly sober, after the adrenaline rush and not having consumed much booze to begin with and not having had a drink after the running from the cops portion of the evening. So I was going to drive home. As I was leaving, with my friends all sprawled all over the couches and floor, someone called out that I need to make sure I took Harry Potter back to Hogwarts. Great.

So Harry Potter came with me and as we headed back to the university area, he gave me directions, turning here and there. He was rubbing my leg and giving me "the look." Oh yeah, Harry Potter with a "look" is so NOT sexy. He had me pull in a parking spot and I wasn't near anything that was like a house. He then leans in and kisses me. I kiss him back because I felt sorry for him, which is terrible, I know. So after the kiss, which was lame, Harry Potter is so thrilled that he invites me to his room. I look at him, with what I hope was a "you have to be kidding me" look. He looked hopeful and optimistic and kissed me again- still lame. Then he stammers and stutters and says he doesn't live in an apartment like he previously alluded, but a dorm, but he didn't think his roommate was in and he could sneak me out in the morning. Oh, hell no! Not that I even considered such a thing, but if my subconscious which was flattered from the attention of the younger man thought about it, my subconscious slammed shut at hearing the "sneak you out/roommate/dorm room" stuff.

So I told him he was sweet, I was flattered, and to go to his room, ALONE, and go to bed. He would feel better about this in the morning. He protested a little bit but finally went on his way.

And that's the totally true story of how I went on a date with Harry Potter and almost got arrested.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cherry on Top

Look what lil' ol' me received from the fabulous and wonderful Wiley!!!! An award!!! We all know I love awards, but this one is special for several reasons! First, because the wonderful Wiley gave it to me. And because it's pink! And because it's all about cupcakes, which have to be the world's best dessert! So thank you my dearest Wiley for bestowing such an honor upon moi!

As always with these awards, I have some things to do to show my appreciation! The rules are simple: talk about three things about myself I love, and then pass the award on to bloggers I love. I can so do this!

1. I like my sense of humor. Several years ago, when I first started teaching, I learned I was funny. I didn't care that I made a fool out of myself on occasions because if it got a laugh, I thought it was awesome. Around that same time I had a Sam who always told me to "never be afraid to go fro the funny." I've followed that advice ever since then. And since then, I've sort of played to that strength. Sometimes I go for the funny and find it wasn't that funny. Sometimes the "funny" sounds better in my head that when it actually comes out my mouth. But I think I have a small talent for making people laugh.

2. I like my brain. I'm not a dumb person and I like I can think. I like that I have a big vocabulary. I like to reason and think and sort. I like words and learning new things. I think knowledge is power and I try to not weld it as a weapon, but I like just having, and SHARING, knowledge. Sometimes I feel like a font of worthless knowledge but it's still my knowledge.

3. The third thing I like about myself is my creativity. Now, my creative synapses are not always firing but when they do, I like what I can generate. I'm not a very crafty person so my creative side is usually seen through something I've planned like an event or an activity or a trip. Or through my writing. Or the way I dress.

Now, I'd like to say this award goes to:

Meme on another Thursday

At Sunday Stealing (many thanks to them!) a few weeks ago started a three part meme. I have no idea which parts I've answered and which I haven't but here's my contribution to part 3!

45. Favorite color? pink

46. Have you ever slapped someone? yes but not recently

47. Is your hair curly? yes and with it being short the curly is insane!

48. What was the last CD you bought? I can't even remember...

49. Do looks matter? kinda

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? nope

51. Is your phone bill sky high? yes. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Verizon Wireless?

52. Do you like your life right now? it's okay

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? nope

54. Can you handle the truth? most of the time

55. Do you have good vision? I wear glasses, and need them for everything so I would say not really.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? maybe

57. How often do you talk on the phone? daily

58. The last person you held hands with? ITSam

59. What are you wearing? black capris, a pink shirt and black and pink flip-flops

60. What is your favourite animal? horses

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at? in the woods on a snowy evening in the Wild West

62. Can you hula hoop? I used to be able to do it but not sure anymore

63. Do you have a job? after tomorrow, ironically, no I don't

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? a pedicure last week

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? yes.... there's a future blog post about that...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


When I lived in the Wild West, I did some cool cowgirl stuff. For those of you who read my previous blog, you might remember some of my old adventures like when I rode a horse for the first time, when I tried to break Penny the horse, the spiders, getting gumbo stuck, the first time I went hunting, the peeping Tom Turkeys, and the first time I went to a rodeo. But I don't think I ever talked about my snake encounters.

The first one happened when I had lived there about three weeks. My apartment had a side yard my landlords id a crappy job of maintaining. The grass was about knee high most all summer long. One day when I was walking to town, all three blocks away, I decided to cut across the lawn; I don't know why. I tripped over what I thought was a big, old tree branch... until it MOVED!! I went screaming across the lawn and didn't stop running and screaming until I hit the grocery store. I was shaking and bawling my head off and I was all sweaty ans snot streaming down my face. When I could finally hurl out the words, a local guy drove to the house and shortly came back. I "tripped" over a bull snake that was about 6 feet long. I think I fainted. The upside is that bull snakes don't hurt people; they eat rattle snakes. The other upside is, apparently, that on my way across the yard I missed seeing the huge coiled rattle snake that was on my patio. Oh. My. Goddess. The guy who went to see what I tripped on also killed the rattler.

My second rattlesnake encounter was when I was with another teacher. I was riding with her to her ranch when we came to a rattler stretched all the way across the road. Without missing a beat, she kept on talking but stopped her truck, ran over it, and backed up and down over it a few more times. then whipped out a pistol and shot the sucker dead. I think my heart stopped beating for a week. And she rendered me speechless.

My third encounter was, by far, the best and I didn't look like such a fool. Well, not until the end. In the spring of my first year, I went to help move cattle from winter to summer pastures. We all had horses saddled up with shot guns strapped to them, as well as a rope and gloves and a saddle bag. All the horses looked the same as far as equipment went; I don't think anyone intended for me to use a gun. It was just "there.". Now, I had learned to shoot earlier that fall so while I wasn't super comfortable with a gun, I knew the basic workings.

So all of us are spread all over, moving the cows (it's easier to herd cattle than kids because I've done both and can speak with authority). We all sort of had out own section of pasture to cover. I was doing my thing when I looked down and saw I was stopped about 6 feet from a HUGE rattlesnake. It was coiled and sunning itself on some rocks. It was shaking its rattle and looking at me.

Without thinking lots, I whipped out the shot gun, took aim, pulled the trigger and I actually killed the snake in a single shot. One shot. Then I rode away, got my straggling calf and headed toward the others.

That's when I saw the others. All 15 people lined up, halted in mid motion, staring at me, mouths agape. I rode over and said, "what?" Everyone started talking at once, cheering me, patting me. They said I looked like Annie Oakley out there, never missing a beat, sitting on the horse, hat pushed back... And how cool it was that the snake was in striking distance of me and the horse and I never flinched. Striking distance?!? Oh. My. God. That's when I started shaking and crying. The owner of the cows said he was just glad I didn't shoot the stray calf, which is what he thought I was doing. Hey, I was surprised as the next guy that I killed it, didn't shoot myself or a cow.

And those are my Wild West snake stories. In the immortal words of Indiana Jones, "Snakes? Why does it always have to be snakes?!?"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Over the weekend a house burned to the ground with three teenage children in it. The parents were dragged out by a policeman who tried to go back in for the kids but the heat and smoke and flames were too bad and he just couldn't. When firefighters got to the scene, they had to hold him back from charging in again. The parents are in serious condition and aren't expected to live.

I knew the middle child who was in the 8th grade at my middle school. He wasn't a special ed. kid, but I knew him anyway because I was in a class he was in. The oldest was going to be a senior and the youngest was in upper elementary school. There are few in this community who won't be touched in some way by this tragedy. There's so much to say. The house is on a central thoroughfare here in town and since it happened, a huge memorial has been erected. Flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, cards, candles, letters and such are piled on the tree lawn in front of the house.

I think about how it will affect the kids in this community who knew the three youngsters. I know in the long run that kids are resilient and they will survive this, but in the here and now, I worry about them. I wonder who's helping them grieve. This will be with them forever.

The night before my high school graduation a girl in my class was in a car accident; her brother was driving. She was in a vegetative state for a few months and then died. He later killed himself because he couldn't live with what happened. I wasn't close to her or her brother but here I am 20 years out of high school and I still remember what happened and their names.

The other incident that involved a young person my age that is more deeply burned into my brain happened when I was in junior high school. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Glorious summer Sunday. I sang in the church choir and a high school boy named Matt sat in front of me. I had crush on him. He was bright, vibrant, full of life. He liked to sing and was into drama and was just so full of life and always happy, and such a talented boy. I kicked my shoes off during the service and he took them and hide them in his choir robe. I had to go through the recessional barefoot. He then tried to tell me I could get my shoes back in exchange for a kiss. But it was at church and he was teasing and I got my shoes.

Then later that afternoon he died. He was killed in an auto accident with his mom. They were on a shopping trip, buying school clothes. They were both killed by a drunk driver who walked away from the crash site. I will never forget Matt. I still remember his young smiling face, his laugh, the silly side; he's forever a young man in my head.

I spent a lot of yesterday praying- to whom I'm not sure, just praying for the parents, for the kids, for the community, for healing and understanding and peace. I guess I'm not much of an atheist.

Last night was a candlelight vigil on the lawn of the home, which is 2 blocks from our house. Daddy-O was out running errands and came home, saying people were walking in droves that direction. ITSam, Jack and I walked over. I've never seen anything like it. It was an impromptu ceremony; the word spread basically through Facebook and text messages, with a few late in the day spots on local radio stations. When we arrived at the house, there were at least 1000 people there. It was quiet. The roads were blocked off for 2 blocks in every direction by local police. People from all walks of life were in attendance and there were kids and adults everywhere. Kids holding each other, crying, standing alone, with a parent, holding hands, all quiet, some crying, some dry eyed.

A minister from the family's church gave a brief talk about the kids who died. He offered places for everyone to go if they needed people to talk to. All the minsters in town have their doors open to anyone who wants to go, regardless of membership. They prayed. A relative spoke. Other than distant traffic, all that could be heard was crying. Kids walked up to me and offered hugs, should pats, and small tight smiles. I was surprised at the number of kids who were there with parents; that pleased me to know they weren't all alone.

The minster talked and people gathered, adults and kids, holding their candles and the quiet settled over. Then at the conclusion, everyone was told they were welcome to stay at long as they wanted. It was quiet; the crowd didn't seem ready to break up. Then a clear woman's voice hovered just above the crowd, singing "Amazing Grace." Her single voice turned into two then three and the song spread through the crowd until the end of the first verse, the entire crowd of 1000 plus people were singing, children and adults alike. A cacophony of voices brought together by one, in grief.

Maybe we should all say a prayer for our own memories, for these kids, for this community, for this family, and for ourselves, for those we all lost, for we all have a story like this one.


Monday, July 26, 2010

What better than random thoughts on a Monday?

  • I wish I could get Mac to read. Okay, I really wish I could get Mac to do anything but he is in the mode of "summer before senior year and I'm the laziest person on the planet" mode instead. I wish he would read a book for pleasure or work on his college applications or something. I wish he was young enough to do what I told him to do without arguing.
  • I have a pair of shoes I hate. I actually have several pairs. In reality, this particular pair looks like leather but is really plastic and stick to the tops and bottoms of my feet when I wear them. They hurt my feet and toes. And they're ugly. I threw them away yesterday. I haven't parted with shoes voluntarily for years. I really wish I had a comfy pair of summer shoes, a nice black or brown sandal that I could wear but mostly I have heels and flip-flops. Ah, shoe issues.
  • ITSam has his son this weekend and all of this coming week. He's 11, and he's really good at it. I think he likes me but he's really a young 11 years old so while he likes me, I'm learning to adapt to him. That doesn't sound very nice, does it? Well, since I'm not above bribery, I'm going to fix spaghetti for dinner one night this week since it's one of his favorite foods. Way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Does that go for little boys, too?
  • I'm so sick of movies because I'm showing them twice a day at Alcatraz. I don't mind going to the theater but watching DVDs is driving me to tears. But ITSam and I are trying to save money so it's cheap entertainment and easy to do with with each other and our kids. After this summer class I don't care if I ever see another DVD again.
  • This weekend I played Monopoly with Jack and ITSam. I lost. I always lose at Monopoly- always. Because I was behind and was going to get my butt royally kicked again, I teamed up with Jack so he could beat his father. And he did. We bonded. That's good, right?
And I have so dubbed ITSam's son Jack. I like the name. No other reason. His nickname is Spud but I just couldn't go there.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Testosterone overload

Yesterday ITSam and I took our boys to Northern Civilization for the day. We went to see the movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and then I had to get my phone fixed at IHateVerizonWireless. Then because it was so very hot, very very hot, we just decided to come up with some inside things, like walking around a mall so the boys could show us all the stuff they want for school. Then they guys went to an music store to play instruments and I stayed at Barnes and Noble and read for an hour.

It was about a 20 minute drive to the theater and all the way there the guys talked about some new upcoming video game. I was quiet, listened, and watched the scenery.

First, the movie was kinda cute, and much better than I thought it would be. It was weird to figure out how to sit. ITSam and I sat together and then it was strange to arrange the boys. His kid wanted to sit next to him and Mac didn't care. Or at least he said he didn't care, but I think he wanted to sit next to me but was 17 years old and wasn't going to fuss about it since the 11 year old just did. On top of that ITSam's son wanted a particular seat (long story as to why- something about center of the screen) and whined about it to his dad. It happened to be the seat his dad was sitting in and I just told the child, "No. That's your dad's seat." He shut up and sat down. ITSam looked at me and I thought, "uh-oh. Oh shit. I just overstepped big time!" Instead, he said, "How did you do that? He usually whines." I just told him it was my teacher voice that gets kids every time. (In reality I think it worked because the kid was either shocked I said anything or because my tone implied I was not going to tolerate any whining at all.)

While I was at IHateVerizonWireless the guys went to a video game store. Then the talk from the store to the mall was all video games. Then walking around the mall was cool and my own quiet time while they were at the music store was great. We ate dinner at a Red Robin and there was tv with cartoons so there wasn't much conversation.

But in the car all the way home was talk of Star Wars, Family Guy, video games, Will Farrel, stand up comics, cage wrestling (or maybe it's fighting?), Seth Green and Weird Al's music. All stuff I pretty much hate, know nothing about, have no interest in, or think is boring. I think I said about 4 words the entire 45 minute trip home. I didn't care, really. But later ITSam asked me what was wrong and I said nothing. And he said I was so quiet and I told him the truth. I wasn't mean nor snotty nor did I use a tone but then he felt badly. I told him it was no big deal.

I do know that the next time the four of us go anywhere I'm bringing my iPod and a book.

But I would certainly rather have a car load of guys all getting along than fighting. And I'm glad there are no girls thrown in this mix, other than me, either!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pink- it's like red but not quite

I love me a summer pedi. And rather than the various reds I've worn all summer, I decided to go with a bit of PINK; the color is called "cotton candy baby"! And this is how I like to be- barefooted, with no toe rings and no shoes. Though I do apologize for the swollen feet- all the heat is killing me. There was no angle and no shoe that made my feet look cute today.

And while I am lover of shoes, I am really a shoe hater. The problem is that I would prefer to be barefoot all year long but Midwest winters don't accommodate. So I have a shoe crush, a shoe fetish, my ITSam calls it an obsession. And since I'm a "fat" girl, shoes always fit when no other line of clothing does. I guess I'm just a whirlwind dichotomy.

Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hostessing Pink Saturdays. And visit fellow pinkie Vintage French Hen, a beautiful and quirky little blog that reminds me of my favorite antique store. I never know what I might find but I'm always delighted with the results and always have a smile. Her blog is so much fun!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not such a cool Kool Update

What a disaster! Not what any of us want to hear, right? When school ended, Kool had passed all her subjects except for math. So she went from failing EVERYTHING at the beginning of 8th grade, to passing everything but math. We were also waiting to see if she passed either part of her state wide standardized testing. (If she passed, then her schedule would get her into some classes away from her bad influence peers) Either way she was going to high school in the fall. She also knew I wasn't coming back to the school system in the fall (because of the contract completion and budget cuts) and she knew I was teaching summer school at Alcatraz.

The last week of school in May she was busted and charged with minor consuming and public intox. According to her, she was visiting her dad and he let her drink. She was still drunk when she got back to her mom's house and her mom, the alcoholic meth addict, called the cops on her. So I left Kool with instructions to call me with her court date and I would go as moral support and to be a positive character witness, or something. I also made sure her cell phone was turned on so she could call.

Since school was out, I've called her several times and her phone was off. Her mom's phone was off. I've stopped at her house and no one ever answers the door. I've left notes on the door, all of which have gone unanswered. So... it could be obvious that she doesn't want to see me or talk to me, which I understand. Or she's not getting my messages... Anyway...

I happened to see Kool at the local video store twice this summer. The first time she said the phones were off and she'd been at her dad's house all summer and never got my messages. She hadn't been to court for her alcohol incident yet. She was having an okay summer. I tried to make plans but she said she would have to talk to her mom. She did say I could go to court and she would tell me the time; I knew the day. The never came, even though I arranged a tentative substitute teacher for Alcatraz.

The second time I saw her at the video store she was with her alcoholic meth addict mother. Through bits and pieces I guess she popped a second time. This time she was with 2 older boys and she was nabbed for breaking and entering and possession of stolen property. She had a court appearance for that and the judge told her "good luck", that she better get a good attorney because she'll probably be charged with Class D Felonies AND as an adult. She also told her unless her lawyer could work magic, she would be sent to... Alcatraz.

This is the point in the conversation where it went weird. Kool thought I was going to be working at Alcatraz in the fall. When I told her I was only there for the summer she momentarily looked panicked and then deflated.


I know when her next court day is and I know a paralegal in her attorney's office. I thought I might call to see if an appearance in court from me would help her. I dunno.

If I'm completely honest, if she was sentenced to time at Alcatraz, it could be a really good thing. She'd have clean clothes and 3 square meals a day (even if heavily starchy). Someone would make sure her homework was done. She'd get counseling and therapy. She could shower daily, have a routine, and overall, be protected.

What a mess. I wish I could've helped her. I wish I could've saved her.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Walking a thin line

What's the difference between Alcatraz kids and other kids? Specifically my kid and his friends? It's easy to say that the difference is that these kids are criminals while others aren't. That's simple but I don't think that's entirely a correct answer. it's only a small part, a very small part.

Get this: Mac and I brought the video game Rock Band into Alcatraz school last Friday. The kids earned the privilege to play because they earned it as a class based on a percentage of their behavior points. Mac came with me since it was his video game and his equipment and he knew how to operate it. He also wanted to guard his "toys." So there they all were, playing, talking, laughing, gabbing about music and girls, teasing, and just having a good time with each other. Most of the boys were pretty skilled at Rock Band. Of the 6 who were allowed to play, they could be successful on the "hard" level, and some on "expert." They knew how to play the game, knew what they were doing and how it all worked. They had obviously played before.

Different train of thought- why are these kids in jail? Keep in mind that Mac and his friends all around playing, talking, laughing, gabbing about music and girls, teasing and just having a good time with each other. What made the Alcatraz boys get in trouble? What makes Mac and his friends go home afterward rather than knocking over a liquor store? They all look the same, sound the same. What went wrong?

Is it because of their home lives? Poor parenting? Environment? A chemical imbalance? Peer pressure? All of the above? When I see how normal, how regular, how... average and ordinary they all are, it breaks my heart. I wonder about the break down in their lives that landed them here. I dredges up the old argument with no answer: nature -v- nurture. It always comes back to that. In the case of the Alcatraz kids............. it's probably both.

Here's the other thing. Mac has a few friends who've been in trouble with the law and could easily be in prison school. What's the delineation between Mac and his friends and my Alcatraz kids? Why is there one?

Do you know how scary it is to think that Mac and his buddies are just a measly bad choice away from Alcatraz?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wiley rocks!

Wiley rocks. I mean, Wiley totally rocks. She's my loyal blog reader from "down under" as we Americans say about anyone who lives in Austrailia. And she sent me a present.

She sent me Tim-Tams. These are, unarguably, the best cookies on the face of the Earth. I know, I know. I feel completely disloyal to my former favorites, the Mallomars. But TimTams by far surpasses all other cookies... even the infamous Oreo. I know, I think I'm going to cookie hell for this.

But she sent me some a awhile back to prove how delicious they really are! Then I open my mail yesterday and guess what super treat I find in an envelop? A WHOLE HUGE package of Tim Tams. For me! A chocolate wafer cookie with chocolate filling, dipped in chocolate. The word YUMMERS comes to mind!!! They should be called "Almost as good as sex" cookies.

Thank you Wiley from the bottom of my heart, for the treat. Sent all those miles. To me. Wow. All because I was having a bad week. Thank you.

I think I have the best blog readers on the face of the Earth.


When I first moved back to Civilization I wrote about my first visit to the public library and how much is "scared" me. I gotta tell you, over the last year and a half, I've certainly gotten over that fear... and I'm back to loving my library.

I probably visit the library about 3-4 a week. I checked out hundreds of books, and my fair share of movies, CDs, audio books and the like. I've gone to read magazine. I've used their wireless Internet, and I've used their computers to use their printers.

I'm also a huge fan of Inter Library Loan, or ILL. I love that my library lets each patron have up to 100 ILL books per year for free. For those of you who aren't familiar with such, ILL allows libraries to borrow books from each other, all around my state and neighboring states, so patrons all over can find books they really want, without always having to buy them. The library borrows on behalf of the patron and then the patron gets the book. All I do is find the book I want that my local library doesn't have and then I send an email request to the girl who's in charge of ILLs. Most other people fill out a book request form thingy but since I've made friends with almost the entire staff, I can use the email.

I hate that libraries aren't free to everyone, though. They should be. Here in the county where I live, if you live within the city limits, using the library is free. Those folken who live outside the city limits are subject to astronomical fees, upwards of $60 per year/ per family to use the library. All because their property taxes aren't doled out to the library. I think libraries should be available to everyone, regardless. But I'm a proponent of reading (oh that is such a duh statement) books and knowledge so of course I want everyone to want to use the library. And the idea behind the libraries! You get free stuff! How cool that the purpose and the goal of an entire establishment is merely to loan books (and other forms of media) for free!! With nothing but a promise that you'll bring it back, you can borrow a book for the cost of nothing. I love this! Carnegie rocks!

Of course, along with monies for education public arts, budgets for libraries are also being cut. Libraries are actually closing doors due to lack of funding. Andrew Carnegie is probably turning over in his grave at the very idea!

So, the lesson here today ladies and gentlemen, is to use your libraries! Please! Save our books! Save the only institution in the country where knowledge is free. Books are gifts you can open again and again, so please read!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thoughts on weddings

For a long time I thought if I ever got married again, I knew exactly what I wanted. There's a historic B&B here in town and I wanted to get married on the veranda at this home at 530pm on the second Saturday in December. I wanted to have 25 guests and do it outside, with all guests standing in a circle around the bride and groom, all holding candles. I wanted snow. I would wear a red (or pink) floor length velvet cape with white fur trim over my wedding dress. Afterward, we would have a big old party/ reception.

As I shoot these weddings this summer, and as I realize I'm pushing 40 years old, AND that if I ever got married again, it would be for the second time, I've really thought that skipping a wedding entirely would be beneficial. I think eloping would be good. Save money, less drama, can do it anytime, and still have a big old party/ reception. And I could still wear excellent shoes (for some brides it's all about the dress for me, about the shoes, baby!) and still celebrate with family and friends.

I've taken pictures as weddings, about 12-15, over the course of my super- amateur career as a wedding photographer. Most brides are nice and then a few weren't. Some family dynamics were smooth and others had fights. Some, good stuff, some bad stuff. But the two weddings I shot so far this summer couldn't be anymore different than night and day. Seriously.

I loved the colors of both brides. One had teal and brown and the other had lime green and sherbet orange. The cakes were both pretty, but favorite bride's tasted spectacular. They both gave cookies as table favors. Through my favorite bride and her mom made hers and they tasted AWESOME as opposed to Bridezilla's which were D-R-Y. My favorite bride was so easy and laid back which made working with her so easy. Her family and the groom were also the same, so again, it was fun.

One thing Bridezilla did that I thought was so cool was a candy buffet. In addition to dinner, of course, they had pretty glass jars, about 10, full of different sorts of candy and pretty decorated paper sacks. Each jar of candy had a scoop and guests could fill a sack with their choice of treats. What a cute idea, and rather whimsical!

Like I said, while weddings are nice and there are so many great things to do, and while I think a wedding would be fun to have, I just think, for practicality sake, if I were to ever marry again, I would much prefer eloping. There are things I would love to do in a wedding, but it seems like something for the young and wealthy. And if I did have a wedding, my groom and I would have to foot the bill, sooo! And using the money saved from a non-wedding would be better spent in a 401k or to buy a house or take a kick ass trip.

Just some of my random wedding thoughts.


Monday, July 19, 2010

I just about blew it!

I almost missed blogging today; I haven't missed a day of blogging since Dec 2008. I have nothing to say. Well, actually, I have a ton to say. I was going to write about one of the following:
  • an update on Kool
  • more wedding thoughts
  • about snakes
  • libraries
But I decided to spend the entire evening with ITSam.

It was worth ALMOST missing a day...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I was waiting for a guest to spontaneously combust

I think the clothes I wore to photograph the wedding yesterday need to be burned. I don't think the sweat will ever come out. Ever.

It was unbelievable. The heat was oppressive and it didn't rain. It was nearly a hundred degrees yesterday and the humidity was in the high 80 percentile. It was hot. It's what hell had to be like. And when you have bride who was a mildly bridezilla, it just made for a loooooooong day.

It was a pretty fancy and expensive wedding. Lots of money was spent, so why in the world couldn't' they pop for an open sided tent for the guests to sit under? I'm not kidding; this wedding started at 330pm in the afternoon. It was direct sunlight, at 330, when the sun was full out and high overhead. I think the only thing it was good for was pictures. Except I had so much sweat pour down my face and into my eyes I couldn't see through my viewfinder. And my hands were so slippery I could barely keep hold of the camera body; thank for goddess for the neck strap. Well, at least yesterday I was thankful for it. Today it will probably have to be thrown out as well, because it was saturated in sweat. Gross, I know. It was so hot my brain about melted-- I totally forgot to add my zoom lens during the wedding ceremony so I have no close up shots of the groom during the ceremony. I am so pissed at myself for forgetting. The photographer I work for was the worried about it since I was also trapped behind the sea of bridesmaids and probably couldn't have gotten anything anyway, but still, I was pissed I forgot.

I just couldn't believe that she expected about 240 guests to sit under the blazing hot sun. I thought that was pretty selfish. Which is probably why she about about 75 people show for the ceremony and about 240 guests for the inside reception.

The "best" bridzilla moment came when, after the wedding and during the air conditioned reception, the DJ started showing a DVD of the bride/ groom. Bridezilla's mom wasn't int he room; I think she was having a smoke or in the bathroom. The bride starts to cry because he mom wasn't there and when her brand new groom starts to comfort her, she yells at him and tells him to "get away from me." And the walked away. So my Photographer Boss and I have happened to have the worst timing in the world and were standing about.... oh.... say.... two feet from her when it happened so we spring into action because we still have assigned pictures to take and nothing ruins a picture more than a pissed off bride. So Photographer Boss asks the Bride if she wants her to find her mom and the bride is blubbering and says yes. Photographer Boss makes a run for it. I ask the bride if she wants me to have the DVD stopped. She says, "can you really do that?" I tell her yes and off I go to the DJ table.

Now, she HIRED the DJ, she was PAYING the DJ. Uhhhh, well, yeah, she could've made him stop the DVD if she wanted, or maybe asked her brand new husband, who should've been looking for the minister to have an annulment at that point, but instead was leaning on a wall about 4 feet away, sulking.

So I told the DJ he needed to stop the DVD now because the bride's mom was MIA. He pressed the stop button and cued up music, and said, "please hold on while we fix a technical difficulty". The DJ would wait until I gave him the 'high sign' to continue with the DVD. So when we got mom back in the room, the bride and her mom had ugly words, mom flopped down in a chair and I gave the 'high sign' and the DJ cued it up and started it over again.

I didn't even get any wedding cake. That sucked. That's my favorite part.

I sort of felt bad, too. Yesterday on my blog, I wrote that I hoped the bride's face melted off, remember? Well, I didn't really mean it; however.... She had her hair died recently. And... well, um... the color was dripping down her face on a few occasions. She was sweating red out of her hair. Ooooooooooops!

I like the money I make from doing this, for sure. And my Photographer Boss is super awesome to work for. I told her she needs to be booked to shoot more INDOOR weddings!

I think my nose is sunburned...


An Aside: At the wedding I shot 3 weeks ago, I used a new camera. I found what I like to call the "paparazzi" setting. It lets me reel of about a million pictures a minute. Without going into to all the complicated detailed explanation using camera jargon (sorry Evil P!) I can click the button to take pictures over and over again, quickly, and get a whole bunch of shots right in a row. The Photo Boss I work for told me yesterday, I was officially banned from using that setting unless I wanted to go through all 2000 pictures myself... ooops! My bad!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Can you stand another meme about me?

I'm taking pictures at another wedding today, in the almost 100 degree heat, an outside wedding, that's formal, not tent, either. I hope the bride's face melts off. Okay, I really don't, but you get the idea.

Always, honour among thieves! Thanks Sunday Stealing!

1. First thing you wash in the shower?
my hair

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
pink... yeah, big surprise

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

4. Do you plan outfits?
yup... and I usually lay my clothes out the night before

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
pretty happy, fairly relaxed, and a little sleepy

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?
a pile of red folders

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
XRayGirl was brushing my hair and putting a veil on me, right before I was getting married.

8. Did you meet anybody new today?
not so far, today, no

9. What are you craving right now?

10. Do you floss?
yes, every day

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?

12. Are you emotional?
usually hyper/ happy emotional, not the bad sort

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
i don't think so... But I counted backwards from 99. It involved bottles of beer.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

15. Do you like your hair?
right now, NO!!!! In a few months when it's past the icky, weird length and grows out to something manageable and longish, then I will. Also, it has a ton of natural curl and the humidity is killing me!! My hair brings a new meaning to the "Marlo Thomas That Girl flip"!

16. Do you like yourself?

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?

18. What are you listening to right now?
a movie, to my class breathing, and the AC running

19. Are your parents strict?
Not really, but there were rules and I had a healthy respect for my folks so I followed the rules

20. Would you go sky diving?
no way in hell

21. Do you like cottage cheese?
yes, especially with fruit

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
I saw Woody Allen walking his dog and he said hi to me. I also rode in an elevator with Bill Murry a whole bunch of times and had a conversation. But no one has ever formally introduced me to anyone famous. No one's ever said, "Maggie, I'd like you to meet Johnny Depp. Mr. Depp, this is Maggie, your love slave."

Friday, July 16, 2010

ITSam... is so good!

He's nice. Really, really nice. Kind. Good. Funny. Astoundingly sweet. Generous. Romantic. A gentleman. Has a good heart. Hilarious sense of humor. Gentle. Thoughtful. A good heart. Honest. Trusting. Seems trustworthy.

And he's really well liked by everyone who knows him. I have people stop me at Alcatraz to tell me what a great guy ITSam is. I have people stop me at Wal-Mart to tell me he's awesome.

And I have Mac. I think he has a future as a spy. I seriously do. Alcatraz has adults who live on the campus with their families. These adults work for Alcatraz and the facility provides them housing. If these families have kids, they go to the school where Mac goes, not the prison's school.

Mac, the little spy, has been talking to all the kids who live with their folks at Alcatraz. They all know ITSam and talk about how super he is. Mac has been hunting these kids down since I started seeing Sam, so he can talk to them. He's also gotten his friends' friends to look at Sam's Facebook page, which seems to be 'normal.' (Mac didn't look because he wanted to respect his privacy... ironic, I realize.)

Mac actually approves of Sam. It freaks Mac out because he thinks I've dated nothing but jerks, losers, and bums. And he's basically right. Until now. I think I'm doing something right here. Mac does as well.

Hey, did I mention I really like ITSam? If not, then consider it mentioned!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Break week

At Alcatraz we are in the middle of our third summer session and I'm teaching Am and PM classes, all boys again in both sessions, and this time I'm teaching "Film and Life Lessons." During the third summer session we went to classes for a week, had a week off, and now are back for the last week of the session- all sessions are two weeks long.

I'm not liking this session as much as I have the last two and I think the break in the middle of it really throws it all off. My stride is broken, my juju is off. Or something.

The week before the break the kids fell into two categories: the kids who were excited about break because they got homes passes, and the kids who were having to stay at Alcatraz all week long and had to be holed up in their houses with nothing to do and at the mercy of their houseparents entertaining them. Or the wardens. But regardless of how they were to spend the week off, the kids were all outta whack; mouthy, negative attitudes, complaining... just off sync. I haven't had a group of kids like that yet. I've had one or two but this time I have a whole room full of kids like that.

Now that the vacation break week is over, the kids know summer is on the downward spiral and that their regular classes are going to start soon. They're all "blah". I realize their circumstance could have something to do with it, but the other two summer sessions were more... spunky as far as the groups of kids were concerned.

Maybe I just had better rapport with the other kids in the morning classes? My current morning group is certainly an assortment; an assortment of icky! I really like one kid but the rest of sort of... well, I realize why they've been sentences to Alcatraz, so I guess I could ask myself what do I expect? One kid is a real smartass and I've put up with his mouth everyday. Punishment doesn't deter him, either. One kid is a kid I busted three weeks ago for swearing at me in the hallway and then he landed in my class and he's miserable. I'm not so fond myself. Then there's the kid who gives me a pain, the only one who's been in my face. It's just a crummy group of kids in the AM. I'm glad it's been a summer session without incident, of course, and I know it could be much, much worse, but overall, these morning kids are really blah!

I completely *heart* my afternoon group. They are lots of fun, and pretty sweet. They go with the flow. They like to talk but not about the Alcatraz gossip but about life in general. It's nice to come back from lunch to this group of sweeties.

I'm curious as to what the fourth, and last, session will be like. I'm going to do the film/ life lesson again for both morning and afternoon groups. I've requested kids I've had before so who knows what could happen? I don't think it will be too taxing on me, but if they could be cheerful it would be nice. I hope saying that didn't curse myself. I do like teaching there, and I like the kids. I just have an odd AM assortment, I think.

But MY time, unlike that of my students, at Alcatraz is coming to an end. And then who knows?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Catalog Shopping

In spring of 2005 I thought I wanted to adopt a little girl from China. I did TONS of research and found a very reputable and legitimate agency here in the US that specialized in Chinese adoptions and would facilitate such an adventure from the first set of paperwork all the way to bringing her home.

I did some of the basic beginning paperwork and paid some beginning fees to get the process going. Then I got an official letter telling me that China had shut down single parent adoptions but the agency said they would send me a letter when they resumed again. No harm, no foul.

In the meantime I'm on the agency's mailing list. Not a big deal because they sent a very minimal amount of junk stuff. At Christmas they sent a calendar of pictures of all the little girls who were adopted the previous year, dressed to match each month.

Now Mac knew what I was doing. He was 12 years old then. Old enough to comprehend the concept of what I was doing but not quite old enough to have complete understanding of the process and the details of how it all worked. So Mac's looking through the calendar one day and then comes over to me, pointing to one of the little girls.

Mac: "I want that one."
Me: "Wha??????"
Mac: "I want that one", he said again, pointing again to the same picture.
Me: "What in the world are you talking about?"
Mac: Still pointing, "When you get my sister I want this one."
Me: "Mac, that little girl's already been adopted."
Mac: throwing the calendar across the room, "Why send a stupid catalog of sisters if all the good ones are already taken?!?"

Maybe it's better I only have one child...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ITSam has a son. Have I mentioned that?

Yeah, he has a kid who just recently turned 11 years old. He'll be in the 6th grade in at a neighboring community's school in the fall.

The son lives with his mom (since his parents are divorced, and have been for a year. We're good to go there, Houston) but he sees his dad all the time, which I think is great. From what I've seen so far, I think ITSam is a pretty good dad. When the boy is with his mom, Sam calls him at least twice a day, once to chat and once to tell him good night. They see each other more than the custody papers say. I know Sam misses his son all the time. He talks about him often and he worries about him.

When Sam and his son are together, he wants to make sure they have quality time. They spend lots of time playing drums and piano and guitar together. They listen to lots of music. They play board games and cards and hang out with various cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. They have a good time just being together.

I've met the boy several times and he seems to be a sweet kid. We don't seem to "click" though, or have much to talk about. Could be nerves. What I hate is his age. I am so NOT good with kids from about ages 5-13. I like the 8th graders on up. I'm a teenager person, not a kid person. Ack! I'm sure he and I will get along better as time goes on, right? I don't remember Mac being a "typical 11 year old" boy. Most people even tell me that when Mac was 11 yrs old he wasn't a typical 11 yrs old, but only had his moments. Sam's son is a typical 11 year old. This is hard for me.

Or am I just crazy worrying about it all? A mountain of a mole hill? I think he and I are both pretty nervous, worrying about each other, wanting to like each other? right? It's like we're... auditioning. It's the best analogy that comes to mind. I just want to chat with him but like most 11 year olds, the conversation ball doesn't exactly roll along very easily. I'm trying to not slip into teacher mode with him, nor, absolutely NOT, into mom mode. I'm trying to be myself, but I find that when he's around, I just get quiet and smile a lot, probably maniacally.

Why is this so hard for me? For 15 years I've worked in careers with kids and very rarely do I ever have this problem. Ever. And when I do, I usually don't have to have much interaction with said child. This is totally different, I'd say. Sam and Mac hit it off perfectly. They like each other and have a wealth of stuff to talk about, to the point where I can't get a word in edgewise. They just ramble and have those "guy" moments. They can talk video games, movies, music, politics, etc and here I sit, having no idea what to talk about with an 11 year old boy. What, Family Guy episodes?

So I was sort of surprised when Sam asked me if I could please take his boy to his piano lesson. I certainly didn't mind and it was a fluke where he couldn't get off work in time to do it and all other family members were busy. It was me or cancel/ re- schedule so I said yes. It wasn't all that bad. On the way to the lesson we talked about the crappy shape my car was in and about the fact that I want to buy a horse (long story, but it worked.) On the way home from the lesson we talked about.... the lesson. I also got him a book of easy Beatles music he really, really wanted.

Hell, yeah I got him the book of music. Bribery could go along way...


Monday, July 12, 2010

What the hell's a gigawatt?!?

It takes 1.21 gigawatts to make the flux capacitor flux. Remember that in Back to the Future? For whatever reason, I think that is one of the most hilarious parts of the movie, when Christopher Lloyd runs around screaming "1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts?" and Marty hollers, "what the hell's a gigawatt?" and runs after Doc.

This is one of the small things in my life that makes me giggle. It's just part of my teen years that have come back to haunt me lately. Okay, using the word "haunt" sounds really negative but I don't mean for it to be. I have to say, though, dating a guy- that would be ITSam- from high school is giving me some flashbacks. We rarely talk about HS and such, but occasionally we do. But what makes me smile is that he KNOWS everyone in town and remembers everyone. He has one of those bubbling personalities so people remember HIM. He introduces me to everyone (or re-introduces me to people I already knew from high school, apparently) and very few remember me, which is completely fine. (Okay I grew up here and went to school here and I swear I don't remember any of these people. Or stuff that everyone else remembers. I wonder, was I really THERE? I mean I hated high school, couldn't wait for it to be over, and was miserable during the whole ordeal. I didn't want to live in this town; I was planning my escape from the time I was about 9 years old. But you would think I could remember SOMETHING about high school.) How does he remember all this stuff?

I never thought I'd ever be living back here in Civilization on a semi- permanent basis but I am. And further more, I never thought I be dating a guy I went to high school with. I also never thought I'd be meeting people I went to high school with. Well, re-meeting.

Today I watched Back to the Future and just giggled all over again. I can just about recite the lines word for word through the entire film; I forgot about being able to do that. Just add it to the pile with of other forgotten memories.

And really, that the hell is a gigawatt, anyway?


Sunday, July 11, 2010


First, I want to formally announce that I have an adorable little niece and a brand new nephew whom I shall dub in bloggerville as Fab Finn.

Why Fab Finn, might you ask? Well, because he is Fabulous! And Finn? Because... and this is a dumb reason, but as good as any when trying to assign a moniker to a person who has only lived for a few weeks and hasn't had time to earn a nickname between the nursing, sleeping and peeing. So, I picked Finn because I'll never have another child but if I did I thought I would love to name him Phineas. I love Fab Finn's real life name, but all identities must be protect, so Fab Finn he is. And I tried to convince Bro and SisIL to go with Phineas but the request fell on deaf ears (isn't there some culture where the only Auntie, sister of the father, gets to name the baby??? Hmmmm???). So here, in my space in the blogosphere, I dub thee Sir Fab Finn. His big sis is the Divine Ms K, and I couldn't copy using the initial thing, so Fab Finn he is!

Now all that being said, I think I'm obsessed with Fab Finn. I've had to control the obsession, or I would be at his house every day holding the baby.

He's also amazing. He's just the perfect size to hold. He's a solid little guy and doesn't feel like he's going to break. He's also not squishy anymore. You know, the newborn squishy-ness when the baby is still sort of all curled up in womb shape. He's all elongated and flails his arms all around and kicks. He's also using his voice and will yell, which sounds funny having such a loud sound come out of such a little person.

What gets me the most about this adorable little being are his eyes. He just stares at me when I hold him. It's like he's memorizing how I look. Or he can see into my soul. He's so serious and intent on looking right into my face. He makes eye contact. He little dark blues eyes will just practically burn a hole. I wonder what he's thinking. I wonder what he sees. I wonder if he knows what going on inside my mind.

He's a pretty amazing and intense looking little guy.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

This hot weather sucks

I'm sick of the hot weather. Just sick of it. This is unseasonably hot for such a long period of time, even for us here in the MidWest. It sucks. It's gross. The humidity is killing my hair. I'm sick of staying indoors but after about 4 minutes spent outside I'm covered in sweat and hot and sticky and it's just terrible. Northern Civilization has a huge festival going on today and I thought I would go. But it's just too hot to be out in weather like that. It's too hot to even sit on a beach. It's the "stay inside and do cool shit" weather. But staying inside usually costs money. Or involves a mall, movie theater or stores- with other people. Ick.

The Weather Channel actually predicted a cold front moving in. These weather people are stupid and should be shot and killed and drawn and quartered at dawn (I realize the redundancy here) It's still going to be a high of 89 today with relative humidity near 80%. I have no idea what 'relative humidity' is and I don't really care, but it certainly pisses me off. In no shape or form is that weather considered a cold front. Weather bastards.

So my plan for today is to grab ITSam and head a little further north of here. Since neither of us are rich, I think the plan is to go to some antique malls and just browse around. Then there's a little town that has an "artisan village" where again, I thought we could walk around and see what's what. Then finally cap the day with a boat ride on a local lake. Other than gasoline for the car, a low cost day, it involves air conditioning, and some outdoors interaction. Unless he can think of something better to do.

I'm off to take a shower. Though I have no idea why I even bother since in about 30 minutes I'll be drenched in sweat and just feel an over all gross-ness that only humidity can do.

But... the upside... it's a weekend, I have nothing I have to be doing, and I can spend an entire day with ITSam. So, I think I'll quit my bitching...


Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday meme because...

I could call this a migraine meme because I have a terrible headache right now. I've had it for a few days now and can't seem to get rid of it. So I'm cheating on my post today-- I know, I've cheated twice this week! Shame on me!

Thanks to Sunday Stealing... gotta keep honour among thieves.

1. The phone rings; who don't you want it to be?
bill collectors

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?

4. What was the last compliment that someone gave you?
"You're beautiful."

5. Do you play the lottery?

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, who would you want with you?
someone who could get me out of there

7. Do you like to ride horses?

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

9. What is your favorite party game?
spin the bottle

10. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was married, would you go for it?

11. When was the last time that you lied?

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
oh yeah

13. If you have a S/O, who pursued who? If not, do you like to pursue or be pursued?
he pursued me

14. Use six words to describe yourself.
fat, sassy, smart, tired, unemployed, poor

15. Name a song that could make you cry?
I have no idea

16. Are you pleased with your education?
I want more education

17. How do you feel about gun control?
I believe in controlling guns

18. If your house was on fire, what thing would be the first thing you grabbed?

19. How often do you have a romantic weekend?
um, so far twice this month...

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future?

21. What was the last adult magazine that you have read?
What do you mean, adult? Like, not for kids? vanity fair, for example

22. What are you told about your eyes?
they're beautiful and such a deep rich looking brown...

23. How tall is just right?
well I'm 5'5" so....

24. Where is your dream house located?
on Hill Street

25. Do you have a secret fetish?
my obsession with pink and shoes isn't a secret

26. Have you tried bourbon? If yes, what type?
yes... whiskey

27. Have you ever seen a male or female stripper?

28. When was the last time you were at TGI Fridays?
ummmmmm like never? Oh no, wait! The weekend the last Harry Potter came out

29. When was the last time you were at Church?
Sometime around Christmas, I think

30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
Northern Civilization

31. What was your favorite job?
Teaching in the Wild West

32. What condiments do you like at your BBQ?

33. Bud is hosting Thursday Thunks this week. Will you play?

34. Do you look like your mom or dad?

35. Who was the last person that you showered with (it's okay to leave out the name)?
I can't even remember


Well dinner with Mac changed into dinner with the whole fam-damily. Yesterday was my brother's 35 birthday (no matter how old he is, I can't tease him because I'm older. I'll always be older. Damn it.) so we ALL went to Pizza Hut.

And it seems successful. Everyone seemed to like each other. So, that's a plus.

mmm-k. So... yeah.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Going along swimmingly

I think we could say things with ITSam are going well. I've seen him.... oh, every day. Sometimes we just get together for an ice cream or a walk in the park. Other times we just have "dates." We've been to the movies, out to dinner a few times. We've gone to watch the sunset over the lake. We've gone for drinks, met for coffee. We've had lunch. We've been shopping- books and Best Buy.... browsing. We talk a lot. About everything. And anything.

So, um, yeah, I think things are going along nicely. He's a very nice guy. He's a real gentleman. He's kind.

He was even kind enough to pick up XRayGirl and me last night, and we were drunk. Really really drunk. He didn't mind. He was actually tickled at the way she and I giggled profusely.

We're actually going for lunch in a little bit. And tonight he's going to meet Mac for the first time. That'll be the true test. I'm not sure who's being tested at that point, but it's going to be a test.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can you feel the love?

The other night a friend of Mac's called. Now before I relay the end of the conversation that I heard about, I want to tell you that this kid is a NICE kid. He is really sweet and generous. He's a good kid; doesn't swear or drink. He respects his parents and other adults. He's kind to everyone and has a good sense of humor. He's a little shy and a bit naive. He's also a good Christian kid; he seems to be one who walks the walk and talks the talk. That all being said...

This kid calls Mac and they're talking like boys do- blah blah blah... Then the conversation basically went like this:

Mac- "me too." *pause*
Mac- "well, my grandpa's in the room." *pause*
Mac- "no I'm not embarrassed, but..." *pause*
Mac- "dude..." *pause* Mac heaves a huge sigh...
Mac- "Okay, man, I love you, too."

Daddy-O is laughing hysterically at this point and then Mac said: "He says he loves you too, g'pa." Daddy-O is laughing even more and says he loves him, too.

I wish I would've been home to hear all of this, but hearing it second hand cracked me up!

Mac's mom

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sense of Self

Okay, I think I'm sort of plain looking. I don't wear make-up except for lipstick. I wear glasses. When I color my hair to hide the gray I usually color it a color near my own and I usually do it myself. I don't wear acrylic nails and I don't do much with my fingernails other than keep 'em clean and clipped short. (Though I totally LOVE having pedicures). I'm pale and don't go to the tanning bed because I just usually burn and peel and start the process all over again. I'm over weight. I'm just rather plain, I think.

Now, I have a teacher friend who is also overweight; she's a little bit bigger than me. She's also a little younger as well. She goes to the tanning bed and maintains a tan all year round; it looks good on her. Her hair is always styled and beautifully colored. Her nails are always impeccably done, as is her make up. Her clothes are stylish and always accented with perfect jewelry. Compared to her, compared to almost anyone, I'm Plain Jane.

I know that looking that good takes money, which I don't have. Salon colored hair every 4 weeks is expensive, nearly $40-60 each visit. Nails every two weeks and almost daily tanning bed visits... all that takes money. Which I have very little of. And keeping an update to date wardrobe is outrageously expensive. (I was spending some serious hours reading In Style magazine and I really really need some new clothes. Really.)

Though I've been thinking a lot about self image. As all of you know my self esteem over the last year and a half has taken quite the beating. See I've always looked nice and enjoyed clothes but haven't been a total slave to fashion ( mostly feet fashion); I wear what I like and what's comfortable, or what I can afford. But I've never thought of myself as pretty so I've usually defined myself on what I do for a living rather than how I look. Being unemployed sort of messes with that sense of self.

Keeping that in mind, I also know that how you look can sometimes help how you feel about yourself. I'm not going to kid myself and say that beauty on the inside is the only important thing, because unfortunately, it's really not. I've worked with kids for years and years and one things I've come to realize, that the young ladies need to look good on the outside before they will think they look good inside. It's a sad fact, but true. It's easier to help them pick nice clothes, have a good hair cut and teach them how to use make up than to make them feel like a worthwhile human being and boost their self esteem which will help them make good choices. Like it or not. One time I worked with a group of girls in a Big Sisters program. We took them to Glamour Shots in the mall and by the end of the day those girls where walking around with heads held high and making eye contact with people and not being so shy, as to opposed how they went in, looking poorly and the attitude matched. Sometimes outer beauty is important.

You may be asking yourself if I believe this then why don't I put more effort and energy into my own appearance, which brings me to the thought and question of the day. Well, why don't I? Well money is one reason. And time. All that maintenance takes lots of time, from appointments to daily preparation and upkeep. And then there dumb reasons- I'm lazy. I want to sleep in each morning rather than get up and spend an hour on my make up and hair each day. I spend my money on shoes and books rather than clothes. I'm hard on my hands so paying to get my nails done would be throwing good money after bad. I don't know how to put on make up to get the look I want.

Lately, though, lately Ive though about maybe doing some "work" on myself. First, and foremost, I want to be infinitely clear- this has nothing to do with ITSam or men of any kind. As a matter of fact, ITSam would be thrown off kilter if I was all fancied up. One thing he says he loves about me is my look; he thinks (and tells me) that I'm beautiful. So this is NOT a man thing. It's a Maggie thing. I'm old enough now that I think the fresh scrubbed face, the clean girl next door look is more like the lady next door is really lazy. And getting old. I've been thinking of taking of advantage of the tanning bed special and seeing if this pa;e Irish skin could actually hold some color. Tan fat looks better than white fat. I'm thinking of maybe asking my friend how to do some makeup. Maybe spend some money on clothes. Maybe get some highlights in my hair.

This is about me, just something I've thought about lately. Maybe to help me feel better about myself, maybe to help grasp some youth, maybe to change my look? I dunno... but I know "Beauty is only skin deep" and "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but why don't people "idolize" (for lack of a better word) the likes of Margaret Thatcher or Marie Curie rather than Marilyn Monroe and Megan Fox?

Just thinkin',

Monday, July 5, 2010

80 question meme because everyone else is doing it!

I've seen this on many blogs this weekend so I'm a copy-cat too... (Evil Pixie and Bragger to name 2)
  1. What curse word do you use the most? fuck
  2. Do you own an iPod? yes- it's pink
  3. What person do you talk to on the phone the most? Daddy-O or XRayGirl
  4. Do you still remember the first person you kissed? Yes.
  5. Do you remember where you were on 9/11/01? Vividly.
  6. What was the last movie you watched? Twilight: Eclipse.... ewwwww.
  7. Has anyone ever called you lazy? Oh yes.
  8. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep? on a regular basis
  9. Has anyone told you a secret this week? as a matter of fact, yes. I hate that.
  10. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? hands
  11. What are you looking forward to? free health care
  12. Do you own any band t-shirts? yes- Green Day
  13. What will you be doing in one hour? Going to Fort Wayne
  14. Is anyone in love with you? I think someone is crushing on me; he thinks I'm the bee's knees
  15. Last time you cried? I can't remember
  16. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop? Laptop.
  17. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos? I'd like another tat but I don't know what to get or where
  18. Would you ever date anyone covered in tattoos? Maybe
  19. What were you doing before this? sleeping
  20. When is the last time you slept on the floor? I have no idea...
  21. How many hours of sleep do you need to function? five. 8 is better
  22. Do you eat breakfast daily? no, unless coffee can be counted as breakfast
  23. Are your days fast-paced? Not really
  24. What did you do last night? Watched fireworks with ITSam
  25. Do you use sarcasm? yes; but less as I get older
  26. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? The big 39
  27. Are you picky about spelling and grammar? Most of the time but not as nuts about it in my own writing
  28. Do you get along better with the same sex or the opposite sex? I'd have to say it depends on the person and the situation and my mood
  29. Do you watch the news? nope
  30. How did you get one of your scars? I have a scar above my left knee that I got from riding my bike in the street. I was told not to do that and my dad saw me, yelled at me, scared me and I fell off my bike.
  31. Who was the last person to make you mad? Ummmm..... one of the kids as school, I think
  32. What is the last big thing you purchased? Define big.
  33. Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours? In real life, XRayGirl. In fantasy-land, Johnny Depp
  34. What is a rumor someone has spread about you? I have no idea
  35. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator? panic. sing. press all the buttons. text for help. Worry about having to pee before I'll get out. worry about crashing to the ground. think about being thirsty. be thirsty. worry more about peeing. stop being thirsty. You get the general idea.
  36. T or F: All’s fair in love and war? False.
  37. Do you know how to use some words correctly, but not know the meaning? Not generally; I usually know the meanings if I use words
  38. Do you know which US states don’t use Daylight Savings Time? yes
  39. Do you want a bright yellow ‘06 mustang? Absolutely! As long as I don't have to make the payments on it
  40. What’s something you’ve always wanted? Money
  41. Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake? Either is fine
  42. Do you wear a lot of black? Only because it is supposedly slimming.
  43. Describe your hair: Short, curly, brownish
  44. Where is/are your best friend(s)? XrayGirl who is in bed and Curley who is probably at home doing something creative and wonderful
  45. What time is your alarm clock set to? 7am and 720am
  46. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture? Take a picture.
  47. Do any of your friends have children? Yes.
  48. What cd is currently in your CD player? My car CD player has some of Mac's crap in it
  49. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk? Prefer chocolate, usually drink regular.
  50. When was the last time you had Starbucks? Last weekend and will be partaking today
  51. Can you whistle? yeah
  52. Did you watch cartoons as a child? Yes.
  53. What was the last song you heard? "Don't Stop Believing"
  54. What’s the weather like? Hot, humid and sunny
  55. Have you ever been to Six Flags? yes
  56. Do you like mustard? no
  57. Do you sleep on your side? Yes.
  58. Who was the last person to make you mad? You. This question was just asked in #31.
  59. Do you like anybody? Yes
  60. What side of the heart do you draw first? right
  61. Can you dive without plugging your nose? oh yeah. plugging your nose is not cool
  62. What color is your razor? blue and white. I think. it might be green and white. I don't know. Who cares? And I'm not getting up to go look
  63. What is your blood-type? I don't remember.
  64. How do you feel about carrots? I don't usually feel anything for carrots. I like orange, though. And they make me happy when in cake form and covered with cream cheese frosting.
  65. How many chairs at the dining room table? Four.
  66. Which is the best Spice Girl? All Spice?
  67. Do you know what time it is? yes
  68. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince Theme Song? No but I know all the words to "The Nanny" theme song
  69. What’s your favorite kind of gum? bubble
  70. Do you have a crush on anyone? yes
  71. Do you like to sleep? Yes, I could get Olympic gold in sleeping
  72. Do you know the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart"? Most of it.
  73. Do you have hairy LEGS? Not usually
  74. Do you have Entomophobia? fear of Entenmann's donuts? no way!
  75. Are you an adult? In age yes. In behavior...... not always
  76. Do you have a tan? nope. I burn, then peel and start all over again
  77. Are you a television addict? nope
  78. Do you enjoy spending time with your mother? I did when she was alive (I was going to be sarcastic here but I thought that might be inappropriate)
  79. Are you a sugar freak? I wouldn't consider it freakish...
  80. Do you like orange juice? Certainly. It goes well with vodka
  81. What sign are you? Yield

Sunday, July 4, 2010

About the wedding

The wedding was really sweet and lovely. We had a fabulous bride; she was certainly not a bridezilla at all. Her mom was an absolute dear. And the groom, while a little dim, was as nice as can be.

I loved the colors- tangerine orange and lime green- they looked like sherbet, and it was actually just so pretty. I think you had to be there to appreciate it.

The weather was hot and muggy for sure. It was miserable outside at the quarry but we got through it. By the time the 8 hour day was done, I was ready to come home and take a cool shower until the cool ran out- and I did. I reeked of sweat and Off Bug Spray since the mosquitoes about took off limbs- it was HOT and MUGGY and BUGGY! But I survived.

I've not been to weddings in several years because I'm not a fan of weddings. (I prefer funerals; at least I have a chance of participating in that milestone event!) They did some neat things. They baked cookies and wrapped them in cellophane and put one at each guests' place settings at the reception, as a party favor, with a little rose as the twist tie; inside the rose was a Hershey kiss. They threw the little white snap-poppers insider of birdseed or rice. That was loud. I think all my pictures were jiggly! They did a sand ceremony instead of a unity candle. It was really sweet and it obviously fit the couple to a T.

Now, I've been booked to take pictures for this wedding for about 4 months. And does anyone here remember that I mentioned that ITSam happened to be the bride's uncle? So this week, we've been on 7 dates (shot dates, an hour here, an hour and a half there) and EVERYONE knew I was "friends" with the Uncle. It's a small town and he has a small family so it doesn't take much for the word to spread within his whole fam-damily. Everyone was thrilled to meet me all day long.

Oh brother!

He was really cute, too. He knew I was working so he gave me plenty of space. But there were nice smiles. He occasionally came to see if I needed anything. If I was standing or waiting, he asked if it was okay to chat. It was nice; good boundaries to let me work but still visit with him.

I had to laugh, though. At the beginning of the day, people were meeting me and saying they heard I was "getting reacquainted with Sam". Then about in the middle of the day when someone met me, I was "dating Sam." By the end of the day, as the night reception was getting into full swing (and I think some beer was flowing), people were wanting to know if "Sam girlfriend" was going to stay for the rest of the reception.

I'm not bothered really. Everyone was just super nice to me, and it was cool to see them tease Sam. I think they also figured out from working with me all day that I had a sense of humor, too.

And Sam did invite me to stay with him for the rest of the reception. But I was tired, hot sweaty, smelly and just ready to go home and shower and sit in the air conditioning. I told him I was sorry I could stay, and why. As i packed up the gear and headed to the car, he came up and said he'd call when he got home if it wasn't late and I said ok. Then he gave me one of the cookie flowers and asked if he could kiss me good bye. At that point I had met the family and they were obviously planning his wedding so I said 'sure'. People clapped.

Yeah, and all I could do was have a stupid smile on my face the whole time.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

What to wear?

I'm shooting a wedding today- a photographer's assistant. I feel like the saying "jack of all trades, master of nothing" was coined with me in mind. Anyway...

I have to leave in about 90 minutes and I hate all my clothes. I had planned on black trousers and a white blouse. Well, after our beautiful week of weather where it's been sunny/ partly cloudy with highs in the low 70s, today is going to be a lovely sunny, humidity around 60% and in the high 80s. The wedding is indoors; the reception is in the middle of godforsaken nowhere in a rock quarry.

I don't have clothes that are going to accommodate this. At all. I need to look professional. I need to be able to bend and climb and stretch and maybe even lay on the floor, squat, just to be able to MOVE comfortably. It's a damn wedding so I have to be slightly dressed up because I need to look professional. And because it's a wedding. (What I wouldn't give for this bride to be all hillbilly so I could just wear jeans...) So because of the bending and movement, skirts and dresses are out. So are high heels.

I thought nice black trousers would be good. But they're going to be hot. None of my khakis are "dressy" enough; nor do they fit well. My white blouse is going to be hot because of the material. No flip flops.

I have nothing that's professional, cool, comfortable, and perfect for a rock quarry. So the black pants stay. I'm wearing a simply white cotton t-shirt. It's brand new and in perfect shape. And I'm wearing black loafers. I'm not looking forward to this at all. It's going to be a hot miserable day.

But the up side? At least I'm not the bride!


Friday, July 2, 2010

You heard it here first

One of my Alcatraz boys asked me what "wanker" meant. Well, since he asked me in a room full of teen boys ages 13-17, I made a quick decision. Since they are not only all boys, but all boys who live together in houses, I didn't want to hear masturbation stories so I said it was another word for "the f-word."

The then turned to another kid and called him a "mother wanker." Yes, I obviously choose poorly since I didn't think THAT all the way through.

I told the kid that "wanker" was not appropriate language and he wasn't supposed to swear at all. Well, he said, "Why can't I say wanker? It's a foreign language."

I now want to apologize to all of Great Britain on behalf of the unheralded stupidity of the entire conversation.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bring it back!

Why don't we still have...
  • cobbled streets anymore? They always look so cool and quaint. And with all the modern technology given to us in autos, they could surely handle the bumps. I mean, horses and buggies survived so cars surely could, now. Right?
  • milk men? I think the idea of a nice man in a nice white truck in a nice white uniform delivering milk door to door is a nice idea. I think glass bottled milk is better than plastic jugs or bags. It tastes fresher and colder. I'd never run out and have to make a midnight Wal-Mart run to supply Mac with milk!
  • more drive in theaters? It;s a sad concept that seems to have died out over the years. Very few remain the the country. Luckily, my hometown has one. This drive-in shows a double feature every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Usually they show movies that are very new, and even opening weekend shows. Shows start about 15 minutes after sunset. It's pretty cheap as well, like $10 a carload. The sound is good, too, because it's now over a radio station. A drive in is an easy way to smuggle in snacks. And you can go to the movie in your jammies- how awesome is that?
  • automats? Automats were a 'cafeteria meets vending machines.' Usually women worked in a kitchen, plating up fresh food. People would walk up to the machine front, place their money in the selected slot, the lock on the door springs free and you could open the door and remove your plate. And since it was cafeteria style, you could have as many varieties as you wanted to choose from and pay for. I like the idea of a glorified vending machine with fresh foods. Fast food that was coin operated- how cool was that?
  • poodle skirts? All sorts of other fashions have come in and out of style over and over again through the years, but never the poodle skirt. They were adorable and comfortable. maybe not always flattering, but comfortable and colorful.
I wasn't alive for automats, poodle skirts, cobbled streets or milk men but they seem so nice, even if antiquated. maybe we need more quaint in the world.