Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Stuff

  • I am so sick of the cold weather.
  • I am so sick of my mouth hurting and of eating soft foods. A girl can only consume so much soup, jello, pudding, yogurt, oatmeal, and applesauce before going crazy!
  • I mentioned about a student I was working with... well, she got an A on a language test. She said it was the first A in her life. She also got a B+ on a reading test. I am SO proud of her! And the day I missed school for the dental procedure, she did her own homework without my help and took some notes without anyone telling her to do it (so she could give them to me!) I told her I was gonna hang her test on my fridge at home, but I bought her a vanilla latte instead!
  • My wrists and the palms of my hands hurt. Why you might ask? From gripping the arms of the dental chair so hard. Yeah, I know.
  • I hardly ever go to the video store on the weekends, usually because I'm at the movie theater. So Friday night I went with a list of movies, but I was sort of on auto pilot, ya know? I'm walking around, hunting for the movies I want and there are tons of people. And most of the movies are gone and picked over and I'm thinking to myself, in all seriousness, "Where did all these people come from? Why are all the movies gone? What the hell is going on?" As I'm checking out, I mention to the clerk how busy they are and he says "We're usually this busy on a Friday." Oh, yeah.... no wonder all the movies I wanted to rent were gone. Geez! That was a total idiot moment for me, eh?
  • And while speaking of movies, I can't believe our local video store didn't get one copy of Bright Star, the film that's about John Keats and Fanny Bright and is probably going to get Oscar nods. Not one single copy. They have 27 copies of The Hangover but none of Bright Star.
  • The other night I was watching tv with Mac and I laughed so hard I was on the floor. Mac said, "Get up mom, no one rotfl's in real life." Which made me laugh even harder!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grammar alert at 1:52 am

The other night I woke up at 1:52 am thinking, "OMG! I sent Ms. English Teacher an email thanking her for her 'patients and understanding' regarding a situation." Yes, I swear to goddess, I was wide awake at 1:52 am and that was the first thought in my head.

I was so upset that I might've sent my fellow colleague, and an English teacher at the middle school, an email using the wrong version of 'patience' that I got OUT of BED and went to check my sent box to see if I really, really did that. I didn't. What I did say was: "Thanks for being patient with me; I'll do my best."

Yes, get the visual. It's 1:52 am and I left my cold bed to sit huddled in front of the computer to check this. I looked at my "sent" box to verify. Then I sat there trying to remember if that was still correct or not, so I went so far as to check on

The things that keep me awake at night.............

I need a life,

Friday, January 29, 2010

the first dentist story

I have decided the up side of the dentist is that he gives good drugs. I loved the nitrous oxide. I haven't been high like that in YEARS and this was far better than any weed I ever smoked way back in the day.

Now that being said, one procedure down and several more to go. Curley went with me for moral support (thank you so very much!!!!!) and Mac drove us so it was nice to have my support system there.

I took a Xanax a few minutes before I got there but I'm not sure it helped. The dentist was very nice and kind. I know he gave 5 injections of Novocaine but I had my eyes shut so I didn't see anything. He just told me later. I also listened to my iPod to block most of the noise.

Afterward, I was pretty out of it and by the time we got home I took a Vicodin and went to bed. On the ride home I dozed a bit, and Mac made fun of me since I was so numb; he wanted me to say words with lots of "R"s in them since I was numb and sounded funny. Or he at least thought it was funny.

After a nap I just was resting around the house. My mouth is pretty sore and hurts but I took some Motrin and it takes the edge off.

So, all in all, I did survive, and I'm headed back to school tomorrow. Gotta save those sick days for the next couple dental procedures.

I just feel icky and achy, but okay.

Thanks for all the good thoughts, happy wishes, positive energy, and prayers! Ya'll rock!

Maggie Mae

PS- and I'll be doing some catching up on blog reading this weekend. I'm sorry I haven't been around this week; it's been a long and stressful this week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

D- Day

Today I go to the dentist for my first mouth surgery thingy. I'll update more later when I can be calm enough to type. I'm scared. Please, please, please think happy thoughts for me at 10am EST.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What a great kid!

I've got a student who has been in some trouble this year. She's a good kid, basically, and she struggles academically and she hates school, mostly because school is hard for her. And the trouble she's been in isn't for major stuff like fighting or telling off teachers but for... swearing in the hallway with other kids and getting caught, not doing homework and then skipping detentions because she was so far behind (detention is supposed to help them catch up on homework!), and for having a lighter in her pocket at school. And for having cigarettes in her backpack. Stupid stuff but stuff that causes lots of trouble for her.

So much trouble, in fact, she was going to get expelled if she gets in trouble again. Sooooooo, I took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and offered to work with her after school to get caught up on her missing homework and to help her with current assignments. I told her if she wanted to stay, I would stay with her and explain assignments.

I am SO PROUD of this girl. She hasn't done more than 3 homework assignments all year and this week she's done ALL her current homework, and a BUNCH of late assignments. She has stayed after every day this week until 4-4:30pm to get stuff completed, which is about 60-90 minutes after dismissal. She is doing amazingly!

This is a kid who hates school and most of her teachers. Even her teachers are impressed with her work ethic change. I'm so happy I can help her. All she needs is someone to give her a push in the right direction, I think. She also doesn't understand a lot of her assignments because her reading level is so low, so we read assignments together and then she does the writing assignments. And she does math that I don't understand (some sort of algebra?) so we go to see a math teacher together and he explains it to us both and then we go do problems.

I'm really happy for her. She makes me like teaching again, just a little bit.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back to the salt mines (and a meme!)

Well, we were back to school yesterday. For a full day. Wow. And if everything goes according to Hoyle, then we're scheduled to have a regular school week. School for 5 days for all day. I don't know if I can handle it. Oh gee.......

I can't handle it because I won't be in school on Thursday (maybe Friday) due to my dental surgery.

And it's snowed like mad all day yesterday. Sunday it was 50 degrees outside and we had thunder storms- THUNDER STORMS, I say- in January! And then Monday it snowed so hard it covered the grass again, but wasn't sticking to the pavement, until about bed time last night (which came early, like when I just fell asleep around 9pm, doing absolutely nothing....ugh, I hate Mondays!).

Mac is hoping for another snow day today. Can't say I blame him. He's hating school lately; I think he's just sick of school and bored right now. And he's begging to be home schooled. (I think not.)

And since I don't really have anything else to write about this minute, here's a meme, stolen from The Queen's Meme.

I'd like you to take a look at the what makes you happy and brings you joy. Pretend you are talking to a new friend. Aanswer the questions as enthusiastically as you can and share with your friend what 'lights your fire'. Recommend your favorites, what you're passionate about - and tell us why. If it's too hard to choose just one, narrow it down to the best of the best. Everyone who reads your answers will not only get a better sense of who you are but we might be inspired to check it out upon your expert recommendation. I like learning something new everyday. If you open the door of my imagination, I just might step through. Tell me!

1. Which historical figure do you admire the most? Why?
When I hear historical figure I think political person for whatever reason. Of late, as I've been assisting in an 8th grade social studies class and having lived in the Wild West, I would like to learn more about 1) Meriwether Lewis, who was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. People think he committed suicide 3 years after his return so I would like to learn more about him. I would also like to learn my about Sacajawea, who also led the Americans on that trip, while pregnant and then toting her new born child. Wow!

2. Name the band or artist you'd like to see live in concert before you leave the planet or tell us about a concert or album that has already rocked your world.
I would love to see Eric Clapton. Uh hello? Mr Slow Hand himself was in at least four bands (Cream, Blind Faith, Derrick and the Dominoes, and the YardBirds) before going solo. And who knows how many bands he was in before the Yardbirds. OMG- amazing!

3. What's your favorite television show or series of all time? Why should I care?
I'm not sure if it's my favorite tv show of all time, but it's close. I just love Sex and the City- the shoes, the friends, the sex, the men, the humour, Mr. Big- love it all!

4. Movies! What should I watch this weekend? Should I watch it alone or with someone?
One of my favorite DVDs right now is Julie& Julia- Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are both talented women and this was just a delightfully fun film. And I think you could watch it alone, but with a close GF would be the most fun!

5. You are hopping on a plane tomorrow morning. Where did you choose to go and why?
I would go to... England- first! I've always wanted to see England so I would do London first. Then I would take a short flight to Dublin to see what I missed the first time, then a train to Blarney to the Stone and to the Castle, then take a train to NI to see friends. Then I fly to Paris for a few days. Then the train to Austria, Greece, Amsterdam (no particular order, mind you) but I would want to Italy last, and do it from top to bottom. All because I just want to.

6. Who is your favorite author? What about their writing inspires you or simply entertains you? Recommend at least one book that you feel I must read.
I love Christopher Moore. I think he's just hilarious. He's not afraid to tell a story that is absurd nor is he afraid to tell a story just for the sake of making the reader laugh. I think Fool is one of the best books ever written- a parody of King Lear. Amazing, raunchy, fun, silly and just GREAT! If a person reads nothing else this year, I say read Fool!

7. Hobbies and passions. What brings you joy in your spare time? How did you get into it?
I love quilting. I originally wanted to learn from my Grandmother and her friend Rosie but she died before she could teach me. So I dated a guy and his mother quilted and she bought me my first set of fabrics and a book. Then when I lived in the Wild West I finally actually learned- mostly from students and friends!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nothing worse than a toothache

I broke a tooth awhile ago and then the whole side of my mouth started hurting AND then this week it swelled up. And have been dragging my feet about having it all fixed. I hate to go to the dentist. It scares me to death. Seriously, scares me more than just about anything I can think of. That's why it's been years since I've gone. I had a bad experience as a child, and I just hate going.

I'm not going into my horror stories because 1) if you hate to go to the dentist I don't want to feed your fears either; and, 2) I don't want to hear your horror dental stories to make my fears worse.

Of course, it hurts like hell so I had an emergency dentist appointment. Mac said he would take me since, he said, "I was his responsibility." He was brave and strong for me, even though his mother was a wuss and was on the verge of tears and my hands shook like I was going through withdrawals. At age 38 I still cry when I go. Even when my rational intelligent brain works I still cannot over come the fear. But he did use his own money to take me to breakfast afterward since I was brave and didn't cry.

So I went to the dentist on Friday. (What a crappy way to spend the snow day, BTW. )

Well, I survived. But, I will be going back many times in the future. But my dentist today, a new one since I haven't gone since I moved back here, is super nice and she was so kind and gentle. Her nurse was also amazing and she knows I had dentalphobia (Curley made my appointment for me since I was so upset I couldn't even talk on the phone and she warned them I was almost hysterical). The nurse held my hand and explained everything that was going to happen today, took my x-rays and did the pre-exams. Then she gave me a hug. i met with the dentist who read the x-ray, explained everything and looked at my mouth too.

I have an infection due to a tooth with "issues" inside the tooth and it's not even the broken one! That tooth is going to have a root canal next Thursday and I have to see a specialist to do that who is going to sedate me for the procedure. Then I have to go back to my dentist (Dr Nice Person) and she'll put a crown on it. The broken tooth is a wisdom tooth and in 2 weeks I'll be seeing a dental surgeon who will be doing an extraction while I am also under sedation. I have a prescription to clear up the infection and she gave me Vicodin. It's going to be a long two weeks- prepare for whining.

It is also going to be expensive. I have no dental insurance so after all the stuff that's going to happen it'll cost me about $2500. That so sucks. I know I'll feel better and I have been freaked out about this for a long time so I know mentally I'll feel better as well as physically and mouth-wise, too. But my wallet is going to take a smack, for sure. My own fault, I know, but it still hurts in so many ways. This is going to just kill my tax return plus some; so much for going back to Europe this summer, damn it.

So there you have it. My dental experience, part 1. I probably won't blog on Thursday unless I do it before hand. And I won't be sharing my horror stories because it will be gross, and because I don't want to hear anyone else's. Send good thoughts to me, please. Even if I don't deserve them.

Chicken little,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ain't no mountain high enough

When Mac was about 5 or 6 years old, he had a "thing' for Motown music. And he loved the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. I had a CD with that song on it and he would beg me to play it. And then when I did, it was hilarious. I wished I owned a video camera back then.

He would dance all around the living room singing at the top of lungs until the first chorus and then I had to sing with him. I would also have to dance with him and we would toss pillows and blankets around the room as we would sing and dance and spin. We had long curtains and he would get in those and run out and sing. And at the "bridge" in the song, he would hop on the couch and jive. Then we would collapse on the floor in hysterical giggles, and he would beg me to "play it again" and we would do it all over. After about the third or forth time, I had to give up. It was the cutest thing ever. This went on for MONTHS!

Then he saw the movie Stepmom (starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon) and he was so upset because they "stole" his song- his and mine, he would say.

So last night I'm in the kitchen fixing dinner and I had my iPod on its iHome (yes my iPod has its own home but I don't... and yes, I see the humor in that. Sort of.) playing music. I had it set on shuffle and guess what kicked up? Marvin and Tammi! I ran to the living room and tried to get Mac to sing with me and dance around. He just sat in a chair, gripping the arms (like I could pry his butt out even if I wanted!) and he thought I was on drugs. I was trying to explain and see if he remembered his "routine" from when he was little and he didn't. He also asked me if he was gay when he was 6 years old since it sounded like a homosexual thing to do. He was laughing and mortified all at the same time as I told him. And he did NOT get up and dance with me. He wouldn't sing either. Hmmmmmmm, I wonder why my almost 6' tall, about 220 lbs 16 year old son wouldn't want to dance in the living room with his mother?

He said I am no longer allowed to listen to Motown when he's in the house and if I ever tell another soul about this, he'll run away from home forever and hide all my shoes before he goes.

But he doesn't know about my blog, now does he?

Ah memories,

On another note...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Are best sellers always the best?

Do you ever read a review or many reviews of the same book, then can't wait to get your own hands on a copy and then.... it happens?!? You hate the book.

Everyone you personally know loves it. It's been on all sorts of best seller lists. It's a huge seller and the everyone from Leno to Oprah to your neighbor loved this book but no matter how hard you try, you hate it.

I've had that happen. Actually, it's happening to me right now with a book I'm reading but I'll come back to that. I'm supposed to write a review of something I'm reading so I'll save it for later.

But I find that I'm often a person who just desperately wants to like a book, just like everyone else but I just can't get into it. I was that way with The DaVinci Code. I didn't even finish it, but I really wanted to LIKE it. Everyone, even people who don't read, liked it. And I, who am a complete bibliophile, just couldn't get into it. The same thing with The Shipping News. I wanted to read it and I tried to pick it up several times, to no avail. And now a blogger friend of mine that I really admire, and who's book reading tastes are FANTASTIC, loved it. I want to LOVE it too, but it just isn't working for me. I can also add Angela's Ashes and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to the list. And Three Cups of Tea- I've tried to read this about 100 times but no such luck which makes me question my whole teaching career. And Wicked.

Don't even get me started on books that are considered "classics." I was an English lit. minor in college and taught English for 10 years and the list of "classics" I've read is terribly small. They just don't interest me. I've bought them in hopes they would at some point speak to me but to no avail.

So here I am, in a little club all my own, a person who just doesn't like the IT books. Grrrr!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ice ice baby!

Guess what we got today? Another SNOW DAY! Well, again it was really because of a nasty ice storm but still, we got a day off from school and that's all that matters.

And no, I don't care that we have to make it up either.

This time I'm just thankful for a 4 day weekend. Oh yeah!


On another note....

On another note

Lately you might have noticed I've been poking some You Tube videos in with a random post, here and there, with a tag line lead-in "on another note".

Well, those are there, not for the video but, for the music. Sometimes I want to tie a song I like in with a post I wrote, if I can sort of tie them together. Please notice I said I was tying in a SONG I like, not a VIDEO I like.

I'm not a fan of the music video and I am especially not a fan of You Tube. I just have never really gotten into music videos. When I was a teenager MTv hit the airwaves and it was a fascinating medium. As a kid MTv was all about music videos and they played all the time, except for an occasional hour when Kurt Loder did the MTv music news. Otherwise, it was MUSIC. That was cool. And, as I remember, when all us neighborhood kids watched MTv it was more to learn a new dance move rather than liking videos. As I've gotten older I've watched my fair share of music videos between CMT, MTv, and VH1 and I am just not a fan. I don't "hate" music videos, specifically, but it's not something that can hold my interest enough sit and watch a bunch of videos. I'd rather listen to music from the radio, IPod, CDs, or the 'net so I can do other things. Music isn't a "visual" for me.

Those videos are only here on my blog because I am not technical nor blogger savvy enough to do what I really want to do. What I really want to do it to be able to put a song I like on an occasional post and let the reader decide to click to listen or not. I usually do NOT enjoy blogs that have music on them that starts up automatically when I load the page, so I don't want that. I would just like to stick a song on a post with an "option" to listen. Since I have NO idea how to do this, I keep embedding videos.

What also irritates me about my lack of knowledge, is that since I can't do what I want and find I'm stuck using YouTube, I get really frustrated when I can't load the video I want because it's waaaaaaaay to wide to fit on my blog- I hate it when the video spills over into the sidebar. Then I have to go back and find something else.

Instead of complaining about it, I should probably stop trying to add music, I suppose. Maybe instead of complaining, I'll consider this a plea for help so if anyone knows how to do what I want, you can tell me. Please.

Musically challenged,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snow Day! Snow day!... Er, uh, Ice Day! Ice Day!

It was just officially finalized. We have the day off school today because of ice. This is not as pretty as a snow day but a still it's a day off!

I was shocked and stunned when we got the 2 hour delay. Mac goes to school in the country so I wasn't surprised when his school system got the delay nor the cancellation (thank you for calling us Curley!). But for the city schools! Wowza! The weather forecast has been predicting, for the last 6 days, freezing rain and freezing fog and for the last six days, zip, zilch, nada. Then, I guess, during the night it happened: ice, ice baby!

I am so glad I went to the library last night and got a big ol' pile of books and I happened by the video store and picked up 2 DVDs which is something I rarely EVER do during the week. Daddy-O had gone to the grocery store, so we are laid in with supplies!

And now on with your regularly scheduled program...

Ice ice baby,

Time to be conservative

I am a bit of a wild child but since I've moved back here to Civilization I keep it a bit more in check. I am not so wild in that "mean/bad girl" way; I wasn't an unmanageable teenager. "Black sheep" might be a more accurate description. Or, as many who know me might say, I am a bit of a hippie. I love the word bohemian.

Can you be a bit of a hippie? I think so. I love to wear hemp jewelry. I love my long skirts, peasant blouses, flip-flops, and tie dye shirts- I have a collection of these. I wear long flowing scarves in my hair. I have tattoos. I like to wear silver rings on many fingers, especially spinners. I had piercings other than my ears (and I let them grow closed) and I am considering getting my nose done. I love the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Phish, and Jimi Hendrix. I am a pacifist- make love not war! I believe in the free love idea. I am not opposed to smoking a little weed, though I don't any more- mostly because I work in education and they randomly drug test us... I am a liberal, I'm outspoken, and mostly laid back. I used to wear small wire rim glasses. I am concerned about the environment. I read literature and taught college English courses so there is some poetry knowledge and an occasional ability to quote short stories and talk about literary figures over espresso as a way of having fun. I love to engage in an intellectual debate. I am pretty touchy-feely. I think studying music, philosophy, anthropology and literature are as important as accounting, law and medicine- maybe even more so.

I have totally not hippie side. It might be described as a Princess side, for example. I love the color pink, twirly skirts, tiaras, and sparkly things make me happy. SHOES, SHOES, SHOES!!! I love to have pedicures and massages. I am shameless for compliments and flowers, especially Sterling roses. I hate bugs, playing sports, and sweating (unless it is during sex). I hate spiders and snakes. I don't like to get dirty. I like a man to hold open my doors, I love to send and receive Hallmark cards and I love to snuggle. I want someone to pacify me when I whine. I love perfume, body lotions, smelling nice, and love to have my legs shaved smooth. I love to decorate, giggling, chick flicks, and talking on the phone for hours with the girlfriends. I love chocolate and I love to dance.

I am a dichotomy blended into what my son calls Princess Hippie.

What made me start thinking about all this is being back here in my hometown, teaching in my hometown, and presenting myself as a little more conservative. I'm not sure what people would think if I was my 'out there' self. I also don't want to embarrass Daddy-O, or get myself "hippied" out of a job. Just food for my own thoughts that have spilled out here!

American Woman,
Maggie Mae

On another note...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What mayhem and madness are afoot?

I used to teach college students Composition, Literature, and Public Speaking courses. One of the things I would do to start each day was require a daily writing. My assignments would vary. Sometimes I would give a quote on the board and ask for a response. Other times I could play a song, or ask for a descriptive writing piece. I would even give a stanza of poetry and a bit of modern day music lyrics and ask for a comparison. Other times I would just write some random gibberish on the board and ask for a reaction. Students kept all these assignments journal style and I would collect them over the period of the semester. I'd usually give about 10-15 minutes at the beginning of class and I would want a 5-7 sentence paragraph.

I loved to give quotes. At the beginning of the semester, while this was all new, students would struggle with what to write. I would give them very few parameters on these assignments, really. They would ask, "what does it mean?" or "what do you want me to write?" I would always smile my Cheshire cat grin and tell them that figuring it out was part of the assignment. That self discovery was part of the writing journey that could often lead to a creative power that was dispelled from the pen and forever imprinted on the paper.

Favorite quotes that always elicited interesting responses were:
1. "I've had a good time, but this wasn't it." Groucho Marx
2. "Success is the journey, not the destination." Arthur Ashe
3. "If you can't say something nice, come sit next to me." Mae West
It was fun to watch the students evolve in their writing.

The title of this posting was my all time favorite random writing to assign. I would do it in the later part of the semester. Students would stare at me like I have grown three heads, then whisper and murmur. They knew better than to ask me for any input. They would chew their pens. They would be whipping out dictionaries to see the definitions of "mayhem" and "afoot." When that light bulb clicked on, it was great to read what they developed. Sometimes this struck a poetry chord, other times it took the short story path. Most writings were of the autobiographical style, brief memoirs. They got into the spirit of the language. Usually entries were funny- I remember a great writing a male student about taking his girlfriend to buy shoes; I haven't laughed that hard in ages!

Now, I've tried quotes with high high school students when I was in the Wild West and I finally gave up, except in my honors class. No matter what quotes I used, the kids responses at that age, frankly, sucked. And you can bet your butt that I haven't even tried it with my Special Education 7th or 8th graders. Why torture them OR myself?

I am going to slip into teacher mode and ask you bloggers to please feel free to respond in the comment section here (or over at your own blog- and if you do at your own, please let me know so I can link and read), "what mayhem and madness are afoot?"

Happy writing,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exercise is my enemy

I hate to exercise. I know most people do, and I am one of those. I need to exercise. I want to lose some weight, but I hate the commitment to actually working out. When I was teaching full time, I would talk about going to the gym and one day a student said, "Oh, are you trying to get in shape?" My response was, "I am in shape. Round is a shape." I'm shaped like... a snowman. But...

I have joined gyms in the past and that dollar sign usually inspires me to work out to get the biggest bang for my buck, but lately I have become a worthless layabout. I am hoping if I profess my need to get into shape to the blog reading world, then I will have some responsibility to actually do it.

Someone told me the local YMCA, which I have a moral and ethical dilemma about, has some membership slashes for low income families, of which I am one. I am really considering joining. Also, to increase their membership, during the month of January, all their 'classes' (like Zumba) are free to anyone who wants to take one.

The most exercise I get are 20 ounce curls (of peppermint mochas). Or climbing up and down the stairs at school.

Oh, and other than the urge to lose some weight, it's an excuse to buy shoes. Like exercise, tennis shoes type of shoes are my least favorite sort of shoes! I was looking at some online and "good" shoes are about $100 or MORE a pair- I about had a damn heart attack- I mean I'd have paid that price for Jimmy Choos (or more) but for a pair of tennis shoes? They don't even look good with skirts! And I can't find matching purses! You can't see my pedicure in these shoes! But they did come in this lovely shade of pink....

Okay, I need new running/ exercise shoes, I know. But I can't afford new shoes that are that expensive. So I can't exercise. Oh, I am so glad I have figured out why I just cannot seem to workout right now. I can continue to sit here and blog, and drink my Venti Peppermint Mocha!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Mad for literature

When I took literature classes while working on my Master's degree (that I've not yet finished!) I had the pleasure of being able to take a class about women's literature. I loved the genre. I am not sure I am a huge subscriber to feminist literary theory, but I love the ideas behind Gothic horror, especially southern Gothic, and the themes that are prevalent in this type of women's literature. One of my favorite themes is the idea of madness. The Turn of the Screw, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Haunting of Hill House all have strains of madness plaguing the central female characters.

In Perkin's Wallpaper, the main character is dealing with what we now call postpartum depression. Her doctor husband has locked her away in a summer home, away from her friends and family and new baby so she can heal. She isn't allowed to write or use her brain. She is participating in the Rest Cure, similar to what Mitchell Weir developed. The main character is in a room with ugly yellow wallpaper and she starts bonding with the wallpaper. Yeah, you read that right, becoming a friend with WALLPAPER! The end of the story finds the main character having gone mad, but who wouldn't have in her situation? I love this story. The other element of this story is that those who study this genre also ask: is she really at a summer home recuperating or has she been checked into a sanatorium? Did she go mad or did she find freedom at the end? And if she found freedom, what is she now free from? I don't want to give away the ending- you can read it and decide for yourself.

I like to read Turn of the Screw as a ghost story with the governess being driven mad. She sees ghosts and tends to evil children while residing in this huge Gothic mansion. There is a sexual psychological undertone to this horror story as the governess addresses the ghost; she knows she is going mad because she is the only one who can see the apparition and sense the evil in the small children. Henry James is a master at spinning the Gothic horror story.

Finally, in the Haunting of Hill House, the central character, a lonely woman, visits a haunted house and becomes possessed and is slowly driven mad by the odd and surreal hauntings taking place around her, even though she isn't alone.

The settings in all three stories are traditional Gothic horror- huge houses, lonely female characters, specters. But what I like most about each is that a debate can occur over whether or not the central women characters have really gone mad or not. Do they control their own madness? I think they do. Then I always wonder if we all control our own descent into madness. Can even those of us who function on what appears to be a normal level actually be dealing with madness? Or do we make it seem less threatening and more socially acceptable and call it depression or Bi-polar disorder? There are times when I would have gladly resided in a sanatorium, content to be filled with happy drugs to make me numb or to sleep a dreamless sleep. Does that make me mad, depressed, in need of a clinical diagnosis? I don't think so, but I love the idea of exploring the human psyche in comparison with the literary feminist Gothic horror type of madness.

If I were to make this a real "paper," I would provide more detail and explanation. Since I don't want to be accused of being a spoiler, I urge you to read the stories yourself and then form your own opinion. Think about the idea of madness and think about the descent into such. Draw your own conclusions. I'd love to know what you think.

Maybe Mad,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's in a name?

Since my brother and his wife are expecting a baby in June, the naming of said baby is always a fun topic of discussion. (even my friends and I are "naming" their baby, even if they aren't around! Though if we come up with good names, I send my suggestions to my sister-in-law. Not that I expect them to listen to me, but my sis-in-law is polite in giving me an ear and never tells me she thinks the names are stupid, which I greatly appreciate it.)

But when talking about names for the baby, we always come around to what Hollywood Couples are naming their kids and I think celebrities are idiots. XRayGirl and I came to this conclusion. The evidence?

Seriously, I always hear what some famous person named their kid and my brain says, "What in the hell were these idiots thinking?" Just because they are famous doesn't give them liberty to name their children stupid things. I am so tired of famous people doing stupid things and this is an example that will haunt their children for the rest of their lives. For pete's sake.

Gwyneth (Paltrow) and Chris Martin (lead singer of Coldplay) had a baby and named him Moses. Now there is nothing wrong with the name Moses if you are spiritual or religious or leading people out of a country or parting a sea... but, come one, these are the same people who named their daughter Apple! Some examples of the idiot Hollywood elite who so obviously lack naming skills are:

  • Indiana and August- parent -Casey Affleck
  • Coco- Courtney Cox's kid
  • Ireland (Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin)- she is a girl, by they way, since the name is not gender indicative.
  • -Zowie (David Bowie) this is a boy and I appreciate good alliteration and a rhyme scheme; note I said "GOOD"
  • Ocean, True and Sonnet - these are Forest Whitaker's kids and I have no idea on gender; I see therapy in their future...
  • Pilot Inspektor Lee, son of Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf. This has got to be in the top 2 of the dumbest baby names in the world or in the history of naming babies. I think they should be been drug tested before being able to name the child; any drugs in the system and the baby should have a mandatory name of John or Jane.
  • Audio Science Clayton, son of Shannyn Sossaman and Dallas Clayton. This has got to be in the top 2 dumbest baby names in the world or in the history of naming babies. 'Nuff said!
  • Crumpet Cohen, daughter of Lisa Vidal and Jay Cohen. After a British pastry. WTF?

I only have one child and his name is normal. We know that his real name isn't Mac but it's a derivative from his middle name, but according to people who know him say he has a "normal" name; a good Irish name, but a normal name. If I would've had a girl she would be Isabella Grace. I consider that name to be MINE in the family until I hit menopause, just in case. I will probably never have another child- good Lord willing (and since I've practicing abstinence right now with no prospects, well... you know), but I do like the idea of naming kids.

So I've come up with the perfect new job for me. I think the Hollywood couples who are going to pick STUPID names, should hire me to name their kids. I would do a good job, and the world would not have any more kids call Audio or Crumpet or Inspektor.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

A pen. A mere writing implement. A pen and what it can do... a simple devise but the power it welds is amazing. A pen is so important that banks and other government offices chain them to desks and counters. Students take notes with a pen.

A simple pen. Did you know Anne Frank considered her pen her best friend, since she could use it to write in her infamous diary and record all her thoughts and dreams, her fears and desires? She even called her pen a Special Friend and wrote an ode to the pen in her diary.

A pen is also used in the one of my favorite movies of all times, Say Anything. Diane Court gave Lloyd Dobbler a pen when she broke up with him and later in the film he said,, "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen." And in the next to last scene of the movie, Diane gives her father, who is in prison, a pen and tells him to write to her.

A pen can be simple or fancy. Johnny Depp is one of the spokesmen for Mont Blanc, a fountain pen that can cost hundreds of dollars used by the rich, famous and powerful. There are stick Bic pens that are 10 for $1. There's my favorite pens which are Pilot V Razor Points, an 8 pack in a variety of colors for $10.

The pen makes everyone equal. It can be a poison pen or a kind one. Think of the quill and ink that Shakespeare used to scribe all his famous plays and poems. Anyone can scratch a list on a napkin or paper sack, address an envelope, write a letter or in a journal, or sign a contract. Pens can be used by a jailhouse lawyer to write out pleas, the famous authors can scribe the Great American Novel, or even the most common of us can write a poem, or record a whimsical thought while gazing out a window.

History has been recorded because of the power of the pen. The pen allowed soldiers to send thoughts and emotions across oceans and countries, carrying their thoughts and fears and news on the front. And those back home could send thoughts and prayers and well wishes in return. There are books of letters from soldier and those at home collected together... letters that survived as pen to paper thoughts, still recorded for all because of the magic ability to commit words to paper. Love letters between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and Napoleon and Josephine have survived hundreds of years, letting us, even now, in on their romance. Oral tradition was replaced by the written word and ideas melted onto paper as the words flowed.

And now, we have computers, technology. The keyboard is replacing the beloved pen, the former best friend of the writer. Out with the old and in with the new... and now many say good bye to the beloved pen. But not me. I keep my trusty pen with me. While enjoy using my keyboard, my pen will be my own forever friend...

Pen in hand,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not sweating the small stuff

You know several years ago there was a book that came out called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff? Well, first I want to say that it is ALL NOT small stuff- there is big stuff; this is life so there's just BIG stuff. That's the way it is.

BUT, I'm not going to focus on the BIG stuff; my purpose is the not sweating part. What got me thinking about this was an incident at McDonald's this morning. I went through the drive-thru and ordered a large coffee, 1 cherry pie, and a sausage biscuit; all three items are on the $1 menu. I paid, got my food, and drove away. I opened my sack and had 2 cherry pies and a sausage. cheese and egg McMuffin. In a past life this would've pissed me off to the point of either calling McDonald's and yelling, or going back and demanding the right food. Hell, I HAVE done that in the past. For whatever reason, today, I shrugged my shoulders and ate it.

Tonight, I was knitting something (don't ask- I'll explain later, in another post, about ME knitting!) and I was trying to find the end of a new skein of yarn. I pulled and pulled the wrong end until I had a huge wad of yarn on the floor and I couldn't "put it back together" again. rather than it freak me out or had me angry, I just figured I'd untwist a bunch and knit with it, then stop and untwist a bunch more and continue until I was done. Should I stop and wind it into a ball? Oh, probably. But It doesn't bother me the other way, and I'm just going to unravel it to knit with it so.... I just don't mind.

I realize these are just two examples, and both happened today, BUT this is just how I've been lately. I can think of several times this has happened. Being stuck in traffic and I just wait patiently, having 27 people hang up on me while doing telemarketing and I keep calling, waiting patiently in ling behind the crazy lady at the bank and I just read a book I had in my purse, or the old lady at the post office who... well, it doesn't matter HOW long she took; I just watched people come and go... the list goes on and on. Most stuff that would normally send my blood boiling just seems to roll of me. Nope, I'm not in love, nope I haven't come into a large sum of money (darn it!!), nope I'm not taking anti- depressants... I really think I'm starting to mellow. I could also be so depressed that I'm past the point of caring, but that argument doesn't seem to hold much water... I really thinking I'm learning to mellow. Wow. I'm as shocked as you are.

Am I completely mellow and lost in my own sense of euphoria, and becoming one with all things calm? Hella, no! But I'm headed that way. So I have a secret or a trick that's making it happen? Not that I can think of at all... I am taking some advice from a wonderful friend, Jas. he is so positive, and has such a happy energy, and his mindset and way of thinking is amazingly good, that it's hard to NOT be happy. And to take his example and try to be cherry... well, something is working and I think he's set a good example for sure.

I am still a control freak and have some issues with that; there are certainly things, especially job/career related, that get me "fired" up. Hell, I work in education so I obviously have some control issues. But I don't think you can look at me and see "Control Freak" tattooed across my forehead any more. I don't think if you run into me in the hallway, I sound like a stretched rubber band any longer. I have a bit more.... elastic in me, I guess, to continue with the analogy.

It was one of those big "a-ha" moments for me. Seriously! The "a-ha" started while I was eating an Egg McMuffin I didn't order. Hmmm, guess ya never know when brilliance is gonna happen!

I'm lovin' it,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Current Obsession Meme

I haven't done a meme in awhile so I thought I would cop out and do one today. I'm too tired to think about a real post!

About the meme:
Answer the Current Obsession category and then explain WHY you chose that response. Easy enough? Thanks as always for playing!

Book: Eat, Pray, Love- and it's not an obsession in a good way. I'm just trying to get it done and over with. I'll say no more since it's the book of the month for our virtual bookclub!

Snack: Inside Out Junior Mints- white on the outside and chocolate on the inside and just delicious!

Restaurant: Applebees. I LOVE their food and I never seem to tire of it, probably because when I lived in the Wild West, the nearest was 3 hours away so I ate there about 3 times in 3 years. Now I can go anytime since it's 20 minutes- and I DO! Man, do I want their wings right now!

Beverage: coffee. I don't care how I have it as long as I do. It's been so cold I use it to warm me up. I've been so tired I use it to perk me up!

Decor: Shoes. See title of blog to understand the obsession

Actor: Johnny Depp- need I really say more?

Actress: Amy Adams. She is my current obsession. I have just found her delightful on the silver screen of late so I'm trying to watch everything she's been in!

Movie: I don't a movie obsession. I obsess about keeping track of the movies I watch- does that count?

TV show: House. I. LOVE. this. show. It's smart and funny and crazy, which reminds me!

Hobby: Knitting. Yeah, I've been learning to loom knit. I can't believe it either.

Band: Bon Jovi, and no I don't think their album The Circle is the worst one of 2009! I've been a fan of this 80s hairband since they debuted when I was in high school in the late 80s. Ha!

Song: "Hey Soul Sister" No, this is by Train, not Bon Jovi, but I completely dig this song! I even set it as a ring tone on my phone when my GFs call!

Meme: This one because I'm filling this one out... (this question just has a "duh" sort of quality to it.)

Blog: I refuse to pick one that I obsess over because I have about 10 that I read every day no matter what. So, of late, I have a new blog that I've added to my rotation that I really enjoy that I'll mention here because you should all go read her since she's creative and funny and artistic and smart: A work in progress. Go ahead, click her now. All you're doing is reading my dumb meme!

Lover: not applicable. I have none. Though I have email crush on someone...!

Friend: I love all my friends and consider myself blessed to have so many at this time in my life. I think I must have gotten nicer/better with age because I have more friends now than I have in my entire life. So hats off to my real life friends who I appreciate more than they could ever know: Curley, Lilith, Gulo, XRayGirl, Patti, DNice, LBO, Farrago, Kelly, Honey, Ian, and Jas. I also want to give a huge shout out to my friends in bloggerland that are a supportive system of friends who give good advice, give good comments, and who give good email! Thank you all and I appreciate you all, too: Finn, Bragger, Wiley, Evil Pixie, TyAnna, Julie, Cheryl, The Prodigals, Lemon, and Shan!

Quote: "Well behaved women rarely make history." ~ Laural Thatcher Ulrich. It's true.

Peeve: Whining students. Again, need I say more?

Sport: none, though with the Olympics coming up I'll get all crazy over ice skating.

Singer: Michael Buble. I got his new CD for Christmas and I just can't get enough!

Thanks to Sunday Stealing and Minnesota Mom for this meme!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mac the Chef

My son has surprised me of late. The day before my aunt and uncle arrived he decided to do something nice for them (and Daddy-O, me and himself)- he baked chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, I know, weird right?

He wanted to try it and he wanted to do it himself; I was banished from the kitchen. But I have to tell you, these were some of the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever eaten. I think because it was the first time he had ever done it, he had the patience to rotate the cookie sheet AND he took them out early enough and timed how long he left them on the cookie sheet to continue to bake before he took them off the sheet and on a rack to cool. I was really impressed. And I will admit we were total pigs, all five of us, and we ate them all in about 4 days. And my aunt, who isn't a lover of chocolate, ate many of them! These were rocking cookies! Crispy on the edges, and soft and gooey in the center!

Then today Daddy-O said he was having a carry-in and Mac volunteered to make the dish to share. He made muffins: blueberry, chocolate with chocolate chips, and lemon. He also kicked me out of the kitchen, though this time he asked me about 17 questions but wouldn't let me come in to help. These look really yummy, too. And he found some cupcake papers in the pantry that have red hearts on them, which he used in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day.

What cracks me up is when he bakes, he sings and makes "rock band" sounds. And I don't mean "rock band" the video game but he makes guitar sounds or drum sounds and then sings- it's like he's performing an entire rock concert while baking. And he sings all the parts vocally and instrumentally, which is a riot to listen to while sitting in another room. All this while baking- it's quite the experience for the non-bakers in the house.

Hey, whatever helps him get his bake on works for me because I love to eat the creations. If his muffins are as good as his cookies, then....., oh yummy! Bring them ON!

Mac the muffinman's mom,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Playing favorites

I'm a little frustrated with one of my classroom teachers. She seems to play favorites and it drives me nuts.

I admit when I had my own classroom and my own students and classes, I did have favorite students. And I have them now, even. It's the nature of the teaching beast. But what makes the mettle of the teacher is the ability to have favorites but still treat them all the same. One thing kids wrote on my evaluations over and over again is that I was fair. None of them could ever argue that I wasn't- and that was high praise to me because I tried to always be fair. It would kill me to have to discipline one of my favorites, but I would still do it. It's just "the way I roll."

Now that's just me. Obviously not all teachers think like I do. For example, there is a kid in one of my classes that-today- kept putting his head down on his desk and kept falling asleep. Over and over again. The teacher kept telling him to put his head up. This kid is a total brat- he's an obnoxious mouthy smartass. He's rude and often crude. He complains and whines about everything, every day and has a sarcastic comment all the time. AND SHE NEVER WRITES HIM UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then today with the sleeping thing. Because, as she told me later, she just feels sorry for him and likes him in spite of his evil behavior since she's known him since he was in kindergarten. BUT, there's another kid in class who put his head down on his arm while he was taking notes, and she yelled at him to get his head up and docked him his participation points.

I just hate that. I've seen the grade book for the evil kid and she doesn't deduct his participation points but she does for other kids.

There is nothing I can do about it; and trust me, this isn't a battle I want to fight with her. And I know I don't have to fight her, I could just talk to her but it would be awkward, uncomfortable, and probably I would be told to "mind my own dang business." And I'm certainly not gonna go over her head- "Hel-lo!" we know how bad that would be!

I've talked to other aides- in generalities to see if they witness this in other classes with other teachers (because I don't want to point a finger at one teacher) and unfortunately it seems like they do have these problems. I can't decide if it's noticed because we're the outsiders looking in or if it's a culture set by this particular school system or even an third option... who knows?

I'm most certainly not perfect as a teacher, but I do try to be fair and the injustice of it all just makes me angry, tired, and guilty. Great- like I needed one more thing to worry about!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Foot fetish week, it's not

But I thought I would show you some really cute shoes I got for Christmas and have been dying to wear-- but the weather won't cooperate (and I don't really think I could wear these to school!) Now, I realize if I had a nice beau to take me to the theatre or the ballet, I would most certainly wear these!

Or! Maybe I'll just take myself to a show and wear them, especially since my sexy pedicured toes will be hidden under the sexy-ness!

In Shoes We Trust,

On another note, here's some shoe music...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Girl's Day Out- Day 2!

So this was a total girls' weekend out because today I headed to Southern Civilization with XRayGirl. She and I hit the Starbucks for our energy supply and then it was off to the mall. We had a four pronged purpose: exchange a pair of pants that Daddy-O got for Christmas that needed exchanging, visit a book store which is going out of business so everything is 50% or more off, to go to the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale, and to get pedicures!!!!!!!!

Yes, I wanted a pedicure in the winter when mostly no one but me would enjoy it. I know a summer pedicure makes more sense since I own, and wear, about 30 pairs of flip-flops. BUT I wanted a pedicure. My feet hurt, they were dry, and the poor old dogs just needed some TLC!

XRayGirl had never had a pedicure before so after completing the first three items on the list, we went to the salon and signed in. There was only one pedicurist in today so we had to take turns. We sat with our feet in the foot spa, drinking our Starbucks, relaxing in the massage chairs... it was bliss.

I went first since XRayGirl hadn't had such an experience she wanted to see what was going to happen. So I was trimmed, filed, pumiced, massaged, soaked, cuticled, exfoliated, and polished- then I had to dry while XRayGirl got her toe treatment!

Here I am drying:
All in all, it took about about 2 hours in the salon but when we were finished, we were super happy. Two hours sitting in salon massage chairs was awesome- we talked about everything under the sun and solved all the world's woes, and decided that I should never sign up for eHarmony because I would scare men- I think you had to be there to get the general gist. And we howled with laughter to the point where everyone else was laughing at along with us.

There was a young couple there getting pedicures together- a man and a woman couple. Yes, HE got a pedicure as well, but he didn't get his toenails painted. XRayGirl and I giggled, even though we thought it was sweet, but we did figure that she had promised him a blow-job if he agreed to a pedi. We couldn't figure out any other way such a non metro-sexual guy would be willing to do that.

We said there is something great about a pedicure makes a woman feel all girlie and special, which there is nothing wrong with at all! And I picked a color called "Red Hots" which is a nice bright red. Here are several views of the finished look:

With my purple sexy shoes and a few toe rings...

I didn't realize how cute these shoes were with jeans!
I love to be barefooted, but it's tough to do since it was a high of 7 degrees today- but for the sake of the picture, I thought I should show you bare feet!

And yeah, I have a tattoo.

So after pedicures and the "mall" experience, we went to Pizza Hut for carry out and home to our respective families. I'm a firm believer a day out with a gal pal is some of the best ways to spend time, and I was lucky to do it two days in a row- go ME!

So, I'm going to pour myself a Cosmo and admire my toes before I head to bed. Hope you all had a cheery Sunday!


PS: Oh, yes, I should tell you that there was a third guest along with us, who didn't get a pedicure because he doesn't have toenails...


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Girls' day out

Lilith and I had a out today, finally, after a month of planning. We finally got all of our kids well, ourselves well, school done, and started up again and the holidays completed... we NEEDED a girl's day out!

We battled the cold and met at an outdoor mall in Northern Civilization. We were going to have a nice hot soup and sandwich lunch at Panera Bread until we saw the lane. I think everyone had that same idea since there wasn't an empty table in the joint and the queue was 6 people deep. So we gave up on that idea and just went to a steak joint, which was yummy.

We sat there and gabbed for hours and then headed to Barnes and Noble for some browsing. And there we saw the slight petite man in turquoise jeans. Like from the 1980s. That usually women wore. In the 1980s. But they were on a man. I thought she and I were both going giggle ourselves stupid. TURQUOISE pants!!!!! What in the hell was he thinking?!?

We also saw Leap Year, which was a cute and predicable romantic comedy (but I love Amy Adams!) but ya'll know I LOVE those, and Lilith indulged me. It was cute, sweet, and charming, but I must say that your $7 would be better served on something else.

I bought myself a 2010 calendar- it's so cute: 365 days of purses! I was looking for shoes but that was all sold out so I went with my #2 favorite fashion accessories. And it was $4 so what can beat that?

And speaking of purses, we hit a shoe store that sells shoes, purses, some jewelry and if I would've have $44 I would own a pair of brown suede knees boots with fur trim! OMG- they were adorable, and in my size!

Lots of food, lots of laughs, lots of fun, despite that nasty cold weather!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Who pressed their buttons?

Jack Frost, is who!

The kids were WILD today! We had a two hour delay so the school day was short 2 hours, obviously, which means we ran on a shortened class schedule. Each period was about 35 minutes each, and for some insane reason that only Board Members must understand, we had classes out of order-- period 4 was first, period 3 was second, period 2 was third, period 1 was fourth, lunch, period 5 was fifth and then we were back in order. WTF?!? Who thinks of this stuff?

So between the bassackwards schedule, a 2 hour delay, the snow, it's a Friday... the kids were totally bananas! They just would not settle down nor would they shut up. Wow, I just was shocked because most of the classes are quiet and laid back but today- dang, trying to get them to do anything was an exercise in futility.

I even wrote my very first referral today. LiarKid has repeatedly told me he has all his homework done so he can play on the computer when he really hasn't got it all done. I would find out later that he didn't haven't it done. So today I asked him if everything was done and he said yeah. SO I asked him if I went to every one of his teachers would they tell me he got it done, and he said yeah. I told him I was gonna do that and if I found out he was lying to me, I would write him up. He said okay and then he played on the computer. Guess what?!? He lied! He had his language arts and his science done but not math. So I wrote him up, made him sign it and turned it in. LiarKid told me he only had three math problems left and I said I didn't care- he shouldn't LIE to me, ever, and if he only had three problems to go, he could've still had time to play on the computer. I asked him if a referral, being banned for the computer for a week, and 2 nights of detention was worth it and he just rolled his eyes at me.

I think it was the payback for having an early dismissal and the 2 hour delay. Paybacks are hell.



It's just a snow delay... it did snow a little through the night and the wind died down so the plows worked overtime. Mac is even going and his school is in the middle of a field. It must not be too bad.

But I guess the upside is that I'm not going to school in the dark. And the day is 2 hours shorter.

Guess I better get dressed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So far, so good!

Well, all the schools in my county are officially on a two-hour delay. For those of you who never get these (or who are out of the education loop, or out of this country!) that means we'll start school 2 hours later than usual.

But a 2 hour delay means a REALLY good chance of just canceling school altogether!

I know I'm simply terrible since I only worked all day Tuesday (no school on Monday because it was the last day of Christmas vacation), I worked a half day Wednesday since I went home to take care of a sick Mac (who is MUCH better now!), and a half day today since we received an early dismissal due to the snowy weather. And I was just off for 2 weeks for Christmas. And I haven't had a real job in over a year--- so why the hell would I, of all people, want a snow day?

It's a teacher thing. I gotta tell ya, it's a teacher thing! We hear the words "lots of snow" and we all start salivating at the mere thought of a snow day! I think the teachers were worse than the kids today, with the building anticipation of a "snow day!"

It would totally be awesome to get a snow day on a FRIDAY! Can we say "three day weekend?!?" Yeah, I know, teachers always have it easy! (I could barely type that from my body convulsing laughter!)

When I left the insurance office tonight at 7:30 p.m. it was still snowing, the city roads were terrible- the plows just can't seem to keep up- and the wind in town was starting to blow. It was blowing so hard, as a matter of fact, that there was a drift up against Daddy-O's garage when I got home. And we had just been plowed out 3 hours prior!

Jack Frost and Mother Nature are waging war!

Guess I'll find out tomorrow if we're off, or just running 'delayed'.

Maybe baby,

A snow day... sorta!

So, last night the weather forecast was that we would get anywhere from 3-6 inches of snow, with gusting winds. This is what I went to bed thinking was going to happen.

Well, the weather folks were half right and half wrong. When I got up this morning at 6:30 am, it had only been snowing for about a half hour (according to everyone I talked to when I got to school, that was the time it started...) . We had what I would call a "dusting" of snow and it was certainly not blowing. I heard the snow plow pass lots of times and there was no school delay nor cancellation.

It has snowed all day long. If snow could be described as coming down in "sheets" like rain, then this would be such. It hasn't been some little flurries either; it has been a hard driving, pounding snow with no stopping. By 2pm today, we have about 6 inches of snow on the ground. AND IT'S STILL COMING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!! The wind hasn't started blowing... yet.

As a matter of fact, it snowed so hard and accumulated so quickly that all the school systems in my county dismissed 2 hours early!

Who knows what tomorrow may bring? If it keeps snowing like this, we will probably have a snow day. If the wind starts in, the county kids will for sure be canceled and anything could happen in the city school systems. So, today I got to come home 2 hours early, which was pretty awesome.

According to our Doppler radar over my area (via the Weather Channel online, thank you very much technology!), it should taper off later this evening, but then start snowing and blowing again though the night to add another inch by morning, having a total accumulation of 6-8 inches in some areas. Then the wind is supposed to blow, up to 30 mph gusts. Then it's supposed to snow another 1-3 inches tomorrow afternoon. HEL-LO WINTER! Yikes!

These pictures were taken from the front porch at about 2pm today. You see all that snow? Only about half an inch was there this morning, to start out with! Holy White Stuff, Batman!

The tree in the front yard.

The neighbor's house and tree across the street. I used this as a "brown" background so you could see the snow coming down!

The again covered front sidewalk about ten minutes after Daddy-O and I scooped it clean! (See the pile of snow atop the lamp post?)

Thinkin' a blizzard,

Okay maybe I'm a better mother than I thought

Yesterday Mac was sick. He got that stomach flu that seems to be ripping through the Midwest. It ain't pretty. I had it over Christmas break and I know from whence I speak- it was terrible and was not food poisoning.

He started feeling poorly late Tuesday night and couldn't stay out of the bathroom. He also complained of being hot and then freezing, and of hurting all over. Yup, stomach flu. He also said he felt like "blowing chunks." he felt so bad, I made up the couch like a bed because he didn't think he could make if from his bed to the bathroom without incident. Ewwwwwww!

So Wednesday when I got him up for school I knew it wasn't happening. He said he had been up most of the night, ill. And he told me his butt hurt and I stopped him there, not wanting any more details! I asked him if he wanted me to stay home with him and he said he would just sleep, and I was okay with that. I told him to call me at school if he needed ANYTHING. I also told him that when I had it 2 weeks ago, how glad I was that my dad what here with me because even thought I was 38 years old, with this flu, I didn't want to be left alone. He mumbled something about "I'll be okay" and he went back to bed.

I called him on my lunch break and he said he was still sick, threw up in the shower, and just felt weak and achy all over. I told him to go back to bed and call if he needed anything.

About an hour later I got a text message asking me if I could come home; he felt terrible, was shaky, and still puking. So, I told my boss, got my classes covered, and left. When I called him he said he puked some more, as well as saying, "Gawd, how can I just be pooping water?" GROSS! I told him there were some Jello cups in the fridge but he said he couldn't find them so he eat yogurt instead and threw it up. I can't even think about yogurt barf.

I bought some 7Up, Cherry and regular, some chicken noodle soup, more jello cups already made (because we all know I cannot make jello. Baked Alaska yes, Jello No), and some yogurt- that was for me. Then I went home and made him tea and dry toast, gave him some medicine, cleaned up the bathroom, and changed the TP roll. I also gave him jello and poured him 7Up. I got him a book from the library.

He told me while he felt dumb being 16 years old and wanting his mom home while he was sick, it was nice having me there to take care of him.

Now I'm gonna go make him some scrambled eggs with dry toast and see if that stays put. Poor kid.

So, maybe I'm not such a bad mom after all?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am a bad mother

Last semester Mac waited until 4 days before his English class deadline to read a book that was worth 10% of his grade for the entire semester. It was about 600 pages. Oh, it was The Book Thief.

It was hell for four days because I nagged him all the time which caused us to argue which made me mad but I still nagged. I couldn't let it go even though I knew he was making the choice to screw around and the outcome hurt him, not me.

Regardless of all the yelling (both of us), the nagging (me), and the tears (me again) he did finish the book and got an "A" on the test.

I was an English teacher in my past life. I was a fairly decent student in school. He is smart. He is an excellent reader and an even better writer. He practically has a photographic memory. But he just pisses this away because he's bored with high school.

So, this semester, I decided to be a bad mom. Or a bad teacher, but I'm not his teacher but still, what I did would be a "bad teacher" thing. I bribed him. Yes, I stand here before you, ladies and gentleman, hand to heart and tell you I bribed my child to read.

This semester he needs like a million points at his reading level which is like grade 29- he's off the charts, to be honest. This semester his teacher broke the number of independent reading points he needs into some the 3rd quarter and some the last quarter. So I bribed him. If Mac reads one of his "for points at his level" books and completes the book and the test over it by Feb. 1, I'll give him $10. If he has it done by Jan. 15, I'll give him $15. Additionally, if he gets all his third quarter points by Valentine's Day I'll give him an additional $20, so he could make $35. For doing his homework, which is something he should do on his own, at his age.

I can't let it go. It's a reading thing. It's a book thing. It's a teacher thing. It's an English teacher thing. It's a control thing (maybe). Hell, it's the mother-of-a-really-smart-teenage-boy-who-is-being-lazy thing.

I'm a bad mother.

Book bribing,
On another note....

I like this song. There's no video here, just a picture of the singer from the group Train, but I like the song: "Hey Soul Sister" by... Train. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Alight, I wasn't going to have a book blog and I wasn't going to have a movie blog and now I have both and maybe even 2 book blogs!

It's all Lilith's fault. And some of it's Bragger's fault, too.

First... I wasn't going to do the movie blog; I was just going to post a review of the movies I watch on here, at the bottom of this blog. But then I was deleting stuff I wrote and I try to write every day and sometimes it's good stuff and other times it's shite, but I like to keep most things I write for comparison to... well, other stuff I write. Okay, you're all writers, you so you "get" this. Then Lilith found an AMAZING blog template for movies. And I've already watched 4 movies this year (2 on DVD and 2 in a theater) so I figured, 'what the heck' and I made a movie blog. You can see Reel Reviews 2010 right here, if you want. My former movie blog hardly had any followers but I couldn't help it, I just like to keep track of stuff. It's mostly for me, but I do get an occasional random hit, and sometimes a few of you would read, so please have a read, become a follower even if you don't follow. It'll make me feel better.

And now the book blog. Or book blogs. I blame Lilith and Bragger for both of these. First, I wasn't going to have a book blog because I was going to just write my reviews and keep track of my reading through a website called GoodReads. It's very cool and many of you have joined and are listed as my "friends" on this site, which is also wonderful- and I thank you! But there are some features I don't like on it. I also got into the book blog habit, and some habits are hard to break.

So Lilith (aka Hecate) and I've had an off again/ on again book club made up of the two of us over the last year. We agree on a book and we both read it, then we have dinner and talk about the book. It's cool and we usually get something that would interest us both, or at least would expand our horizons. Then she and I had this shared brain cell thing happen. We emailed each other at about exactly the same time with the idea of a virtual book club. And Bragger mentioned it on Goodreads, on the same day. Uh-huh. Great minds think alike, eh? So, she and I are planning a virtual book club and more details are right here at the group blog called "Read Any Good Books Lately?" The details are all hammered out. And I have to say, I am SOOOOOOOO excited about this project!

I'll probably go on with my boring self and post like I did when I had "Turn the Page" because I know that way but others might take a different approach, which is totally fine. AND I am BEYOND excited at the prospect of reading reviews from people I know and having discussions about books with intelligent people I like!

So while I was thinking I was going to down size my blogging, I actually just stayed at the status quo. Well, okay, I'm down by one blog since I'm not doing my photo blog anymore. Oh goddess, that means I could still add another... someone stop me!!!!!

Blogfully yours,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Live and let die

Picture this: Civilization, Midwest, 2010. Monday morning, the last day of a teacher's Christmas vacation at 7:41 am...

I'm sound asleep in my bed in my attic room. Today is the last day of freedom, meaning I don't return to the classroom drudgery until tomorrow morning. Some of the schools in our county had to go to school today, like Mac's school. But I didn't have to worry about getting Mac off to school today since he decided to stay at his Sperm Donor's house last night.

So there I was, all curled up and sound asleep, planning of a nice long "lie-in" as the Irish would say, when I hear a pounding and thumping and then see a huge flash of light.

Torn from my dreams and snapped into a quick reality, I sat bolt up right, immediately wide awake. There stands Mac. The thumping and pounding? Him running pell-mell up the stairs. The flash of light? Him turning on the overhead light in the attic.

Mac: "Mom?!? WTF? It's 7:41 am! You're gonna be late for school!! Why are you here? What's wrong?"
Me: "I don't have school today. Our school system starts tomorrow. WTF are YOU doing here?"
Mac (suppressing a grin when he sees the murderous look on my face): "Ooooooooooops, sorry." He smiles. Then giggles. Then sees the look of rage on my face and stops. "I, uh, forgot my schedule and I uh, forgot my book." He starts rummaging through his stuff on the attic floor.
Me: "Oh." But what I was thinking was: A judge would understand if I beat him, right?
Mac: "Sorry."
Me: "Be quiet and don't wake your grandfather." But I said this to his retreating back as he THUNDERED DOWN the stairs and SLAMMED the front door.

Of course I was completely awake and now I had to pee. It was 7:41 am.

Mac is still alive.

Mother Maggie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Whiny ramblings, with music!

Snow sucks. I was going to hang out with Lilith (aka Hecate) today but the weather has thrown us a loop. I think one or both of us would be stuck if we could get in the same spot. Wait, that could be fun!

No, but seriously, she and I are much more responsible than that and won't get together because of the bad weather. So much for the manicure and pedicure. My poor feet are yelling at me already, that how dare I get them all excited and then abandon the plan. My poor dogs may never forgive me.

I'm not even sure how hard it's actually snowing but it's windy and blowing and it's the drifting I'm worried about, more than anything. You know the song lyrics "snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun" in "Jingle Bell Rock"? They obviously did not live in the Midwest in January because snowing and blowing does not make bushels of fun- it's makes drifts, stuck cars, low viability, and white outs.

Well, in other news, I don't have to go back to school until Tuesday. That's pretty awesome. I'm not ready to go back. I really like sleeping in. Maybe I've been out of work to long and re-adjusting to work again is taking a toll. Maybe there's a pill for that?

I watched District 9 on video last night and it was scary. I didn't like it at all. It was terribly violent and just... harsh. Maybe I didn't like it because it would be how humans would actually deal with 1.8 million aliens landing on Earth. I don't know.

And speaking of movies, I went to the theater and saw Up In The Air yesterday. I wanted it to be the best movie I've seen all year. It was good and certainly award worthy, but it was just sad and daunting in the economic hardship that is America this year. I knew what it was about when I went but I didn't think it would be that stark of reality. And it wasn't the best movie I've seen all year, though it was certainly one of the better. I think the best movie I've watched this year was Julie& Julia. I'm waiting for Hollywood to dazzle me with something that makes me leave the theater going, "Wow! I can't wait to see that again! OMG!" and I haven't had that reaction to a film in a very loooooooooong time!

So this is one of my favorite songs off the new Bon Jovi album The Circle. It's called "Superman Tonight." I was hunting to find the actual music video and couldn't come up with it, but I thought this was a pretty cool live performance. I'm a total Bon Jovi fan. They were popular when I was in high school so I just can't help it! I've seen them in concert 3 times and I'm going to admit it here; I'm gonna try and see them on The Circle tour either through Eventchaser or I'll buy my own ticket. I think Jon Bon Jovi is still a cutie, even after all these years.

Have a happy Sunday! In spite of the whiny tone of this post, I do have a good book to read and I think I'm going to rent a movie or two and just hang out and take it easy.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Why I have Writer's Block

I'm sitting here staring at the blank screen trying to figure out what to type. It's way to early in the year for me to have writer's block. Or maybe it's just a carry over from last year?

My writer's block could be because I've been on vacation and haven't done much bust stick close to home. My Aunt and Uncle from Texas have been here since Tuesday, making the house over full with adults and personalities. I love them to death and love having them come visit. Daddy-O's house is small and is an "open concept" meaning the only doors are on the bathroom and his bedroom so if if anyone wanted to be alone, they had to leave or go in the bathroom. But the visit was good and it's always wonderful to see them. I did think my Aunt was going to freeze to death because she HATES the cold and the temperatures have hovered around 10 degrees here, with snow, for the last week.

I also attribute my writer's block to just not really doing anything with anyone but Mac, the family, Daddy-O, Curley, and XRayGirl. And none of these outings have been outrageous, just our normal stuff- shopping, watching movies, hanging around. I've not really watched the news or been out and about because it was cold. I've been to see movies but I haven't been reading or watching tv.

I can understand why I might have run out of things to say on my blog. I've run out of things to say in real life to Daddy-O and Mac. Mac and I rode in the car for 30 miles and never said a word to each other the whole time. Maybe there's too much together-ness happening right now, since we've all been in the house together for almost 3 weeks?

Oh, I could tell you I've done away with my movie blog. No one really read it too often so I've just decided to keep a list of movies I see on this blog, over in the side bar, and I'll be writing a review of some of the movies in a "gadget" found at the bottom of this blog- if you scroll down there now you can see what I'm talking about since I saw The Princess and the Frog yesterday. (And it was sweet!)

I haven't decided if I'm going to host a book blog or not. I did, however, write a year end recap of my 2009 reading habits. Now, I do know I have readers of that one, and I found the absolute most adorable PINK book template so part of me wants to keep the book blog just for those reasons, but I'm not sure. I also keep track of my books on a web site called GoodReads. It will allow me to write reviews, page number count, date them and adds the book cover art and everything I do on my personal book blog, and more. But can anyone read my reviews at Goodreads if they aren't a member? (And if you do have an account at Goodreads, I'm there listed as 'Maggieo') I should check that out while I'm deciding, but I'm not in a huge hurry to get that set up because I'm just not in the mood to read right now. But I digress...

I could also have writer's block on a personal level because I'm re-working my resume. Ick. That is the only word for it: ick. It's hard to do and takes lots of concentration and creativity- I don't want to lie, of course, but I want to make some of my skills sound worthwhile and picking and choosing the right words are a pain in the butt. I've been doing that for a couple days now, and I'm frustrated and it seems to have sapped all my energy for wanting to write creatively and humorously.

I've also been answering letters and emails in depth. Now, I LOVE getting personal emails and I love corresponding with folks but I seem to do it in big blocks and by the time I write 5 or 6 emails that are about 2000 words each, I'm not feeling blog style writing. OMG- is there such a thing as "too much" writing? That's can't be!

So that's why I have writer's block. My creativity is sapped. Or well not sapped, but blocked. I don't have any stories to tell right now, other than I could explain why I've wanted to smack Mac for the last 3 days- the grumpy pants, whining, teenager. Oh yeah, because he's a teenager so by definition I want to smack him. But I'll save that for something to blog about tomorrow! Unless something exciting happens between now and then.

I might even go to church in the morning; that would be a blog post too. That is, if the walls don't come tumbling down or a lightening bolt strikes me dead. Could happen...


Friday, January 1, 2010

So what did you do on New Year's Eve?

The last time I went bowling was in April 2006 with Mac, one afternoon after school because we were bored. Until last night, that was the last time was bowling. Yup, you read that right. Maggie Mae went bowling.

I also want to say right now that while I love and adore shoes, I think bowling shoes are really really gross. I mean really gross. But I had to wear them because that was the bowling alley rules; they wouldn't allow me to wear my socks, which was too bad because I wore these adorable Life Saver striped toe socks. At least they weren't warm when I put them on.

Okay, so yes I went bowling. XRayGirl and her Hubby invited me to do something with them on New Years Eve and this is what they came up with and I'm game for about anything. Then she calls and tells me it's a couples event. Well, I'm not part of a couple, obviously, so then she tells me she'll fix me up with someone.

So here are the facts: I have a blind date. On New years Eve. To go bowling. Apparently XRayGirl's Hubby has a friend named Bruce and I apparently met him at some point and that's who they were going to fix me up with. XRayGirl told me I said when I met him that I thought he was cute. Okay. No stress. I haven't been bowling in 3 years and I'm not that good to start with- if I can break 75 I consider it a stellar, successful game. I had to put on someone else's shoes in public. And now I have a date on top of it, which I haven't been on a "real" date since March. (I don't consider seeing Trooper in August a date any more... I have some illogical rationale for that which I will explain in another post) Oh no pressure at all.

And what does one wear to bowl anyway? XRayGirl tells me all the time I'm way to dressed up when we just get together for dinner but that's just how I dress. So I went with jeans and a new shirt I got for Christmas that's in shades of dark pink. What goes with 3 tone bowling shoes? Anyway... I digress.

Since Mac was going to a Halo party (think 5 teenage boys with 5 tvs, 5 Xboxes, all linked together and a case of Mountain Dew...) XRayGirl, etal were picking me up so Mac could have the car. When they arrived, Bruce was not there but a back up. Apparently Bruce, unbeknownst to XRayGirl and her Hubby, got back together with his x-wife...he didn't think going on a New Years Eve date with me was a good idea). I was introduced to Kenny.

I want to say right now there was no way in Hell I was going to kiss him at midnight. There was no way I would kiss him if I was told a huge fiery meteor was going to obliterate the earth and he was the last person I would see. If he was the last man on Earth and I was the last woman on Earth, the human population would die out.

Kenny was bald, not stylish bald but just bald. He had no teeth. His pants were falling off, not in a stylish baggy way but a don't fit and don't own a belt way. he smoked brown cigarettes and sounded like he had swallowed a mouthful of gravel and smelled like he forgot to shower. In the last decade at any time.

When we arrived at the bowling ally, I grabbed XRayGirl by the hair arm and yanked her to the bathroom and before I could say anything she explained about Bruce and stressed that Kenny was NOT A DATE. She made it clear to him that this was NOT A DATE with me, that we just need a fourth for the bowling event. I was relieved. OMG, was I ever relieved. I had told XRayGirl she couldn't fix me up with someone she herself would not go out with and she said she wouldn't touch Kenny with a 10 foot pole but he was nice. And he didn't have plans for New Years Eve. Gee, I wonder why?

But he was nice and funny and couldn't bowl worth a shit. And he mostly didn't talk to me but gabbed with XRayGirl's Hubby, which was fine with me. Once I knew that this was NOT A DATE and knew Kenny knew and UNDERSTOOD it was NOT A DATE, then I could relax and have fun.

The bowling was 4 games. The guys threw the first ball and the women picked up the spares if there were pins to spar. This was games 1 and 3. In games 2 and 4 the women went first and the guys picked up the spars. There was also all you can eat pizza and breadsticks and a champagne toast at midnight. There were cash prize drawings during the evening. We had a lot of fun. My bowling scores for the night (well, I guess mine and Kenny's) was (in order of games 1-4) an 85, 98, 137, and a 99. By the time we got to the last game Kenny was so drunk he couldn't see the lanes. Well, so was XRayGirl's Hubby. I was the designated driver. XRayGirl only had a few beers. I actually threw 3 strikes over the course of the four games! Go me! Whoot-whoot!

We all laughed and had fun and rang in the New Year with a countdown and "Auld Lang Syne" on the jukebox.

It was a sober time well spent with friends and lots of laughs. And good pizza.

Strikin' and sparin',