Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The battle through the 30 truths continues with Days 18-23

As you all know I'm trying to get through it, sticking to it, not giving up, showing perseverance, of the 30 days of truth, even though I don't wanna. And though I was given good advice that I don't have to finish it if I don't want, I still have the Midwest ethic of never giving up. So here goes:

Day 18- your views of on gay marriage
I have one view- support it, legalize it,

Day 19- What do you think of religion? Or politics?
I try to not think of either very often. My family always said to not talk about either in public, at the table or with strangers because it wasn't polite.

Day 20- Your views on drugs and alcohol.
I view both with pleasure. I support both. I think marijuana should be legal and I like to drink. A lot and often.

Day 21- Your best friend got into an accident one hour after you had a fight. What do you do?
Go to her. She's my best friend, fight be damned. Who cares?

Day 22- Something you wish you hadn't done in your life.
Repetitive as I answered this already- married SD.

Day 23- something you wish you had done in your life.
Married AlaskaSam all those years ago when I had the chance.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Road trip goofs

I will post later today. All I have in me is to say that yesterday I drove my first transport for Alcatraz. It means I picked up kids from their home visits and dropped them back at Alcatraz.

I drove 594 miles on Sunday.

I had a major exit on a major Interstate CLOSED. In the middle of construction. In the dark. With a car full of sleeping kids. (It was good they were sleeping because none of them could read a map anyway... I found that out later!)

I drove through downtown of the state capital during the middle of NFL game traffic.

I missed a turn and had to back track 20 minutes; I don't know how many miles that is, but it was a pain in the butt.

I turned the wrong way on a one way. When I discovered what I did, I fixed my error. In front of a sheriff. Who then followed me for about 6 blocks. He never pulled me over. Thank god.

And as we pulled in the parking lot at Alcatraz, after being in the car for about 12.5 hours, one of the kids spilled a milkshake on her, the car seat, the floor. So I cleaned all that up, filled the car with fuel and returned it.

I almost ran out of gas. To the point where the gas light was BLINKING at me as I rolled into the gas station. Talk about panicked. I can't imagine having to call and explain that one.

I am tired. I need sleep. But I made money. I made 10 bucks an hour. But I'm still tired. Princess rocked.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Good news!

Mac applied to 6 colleges and now is the waiting. Well, he finally got his first acceptance letter! (Please don't be his last!) and we are thrilled. I blogged about the school that treated him like a rock star- well, that's the one he got in, so far. Yay him!

And the good news on the Mac and school continues. Not only did he get into School 1, but they gave him a scholarship: $20,000, broken into 4 years of $5k each. OMG! I am so excited! he opened hi letter, told us he got in and we all jumped around, high fived and hugged. then later, like an hour, I pick up the letter to read it. There's an attachment explaining the award. I about fell over. He missed that the first time around. Even sweeter!

I worked at Alcatraz at the library last week and it was so good to be back. I hate that my friend who was the librarian won't be working there any more, but am thrilled I will be. It was completely insane and crazy, though, because she was trying to train me AND wrap up her book fair, but it was so very very good to be back. I'm sure I'll have more to report later!

My last piece of good news is about the top 25 blogs of 2010. I made the first cut! Thanks to all of you who voted for me during round one. The voting continues. So please go and vote for me again. It starts all over again with new votes. So we have to all go do it again. I would appreciate it if you would give me some more voting love. Just click the button in my side bar, please!

What a great day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why oh why did I agree to the days of truth? Here are days 14-17

Back on October 12, I said I was going to do the 30 days of truth. At the time I thought it was a good idea and would be fun. But each time I write one of those posts, I get my lowest comments AND I get my lowest hits for the day. Also, and more importantly, I hate writing them. I feel like any brain creativity I have goes out the window and I can't seem to hit my writing groove.

But I will carry on and sally forth and all that rot because my mama didn't raise a quitter. And because today I need a stupid blog topic because for some reason the well is running dry. It could be because it's a holiday and I think my brain turned to a candied yam.

So, without further ado:

Day 14: A hero who has let you down (letter)
I don't have a hero who has let me down. I'm not even sure I have a hero. And I'm certainly not writing a letter if I did.

Yeah, I seriously thought about stopping here but I'm dragging this out so I shall continue. (Daddy-O suggested I just jump to something I want to write about on the list but that would be nothing.)

Day 15: Something or Someone you could live without, because you've tried living without it.
AlaskaSam. See previous answer to previous question.

See, some of these are repetitive. Maybe I should write my own 30 days of truth?

Day 16: Someone of something you definitely could live without.
My ex- husband. Click here to read about him (though why you'd want to I wouldn't know because he is such a dickhead), which I answered in a previous question.

See what I mean about repeating itself?

Day 17: a book you've read that changed your views on something
Okay, I can get totally get into this one! As a matter of fact I could write about 30 books that changed my views- maybe that's a list?!

The Year of Living Biblically. The long and the short of this memoir is that author AJ Jacobs decided to spend one year living biblically, or following the rules of the Bible in a literal sense.

But this memoir was so much more than that. The cover of the book lends the reader to think it's probably pretty funny, and it is, much of the time. But there's so much more to it than that; it's following his journey to discover 'something' through religion. His quest took him to a snake handler in Tennessee, Amish country, a gay Evangelical Bible study, an Evangelical church, and into the world of the Hasidic Jews- and much, much more.

This was funny, but to me it was more fascinating and educational. I enjoyed peeping into his daily routine as he tried to live a more Biblical life. I found this to be a thoroughly fun AND an educational read.

As a person who was raised United Methodist and has become an atheist (though a very not very dedicated and rather lax one at that), I found this book gave me lots of food for thought; it's been awhile since I read a book and highlighted passages and took notes; and was reading with about 4 versions of the Bible at hand to look up stuff he mentioned. I liked the dichotomy he found within the Bible and all the different religions' interpretation of the holy word.

Maybe I'm not really a lapsed Methodist and a bad atheist. I'm something, I think, but I'm not sure what. SO, yes, the book changed my view. It didn't solve anything for me, but it made me think and some days that just has to be enough.

So Mr Jacobs, in case you're still Googling yourself and find this post, I LOVED this book and I appreciate your efforts in the year you were biblical. Thanks for providing something that stimulated my interest as well as my brain. It was so good I bought a copy to highlight rather than defacing the public library copy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Leftover blogcake

A long time ago when I first started blogging, a blogging buddy used the term "blog cake" when he had a post that was nothing but just random thoughts. When I went to title this post, I thought of him and his blogcake words and the idea of left overs because of yesterday and hence the post title.

Time is running out. Today, before 6pm, is the last time anyone can go vote for me as one of the top blogs of 2010 at the Blog Guidebook. I'd appreciate the votes, please! Click on the badge at the bottom of this post to check it out! And to vote for me! Please!

And I am loving all the suggestions of things I should do before I turn 40 years old. Please keep those ideas coming. I thought I would post the final top 40 on Monday but since ideas are still rolling in, I'll wait. But feel free to hit my 40 for 40 post and throw in your 2 cents!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the States, and nothing says "thanksgiving" better than Burlesque (the 196th movie I've watched this year). Yeah, I actually went to see that yesterday! With Daddy-O and Mac. I went because I like movies, Mac went because he's intrigued by musicals, and Daddy-O went because he loves Cher. It was good, too! The musical numbers were awesome, and the costumes and makeup were amazing. I wish I could do my hair and make up like that daily... and look normal, anyway. I also saw Love & Other Drugs. On a date as friends with ITSam. Why do I hear cries of bloggers everywhere hollering reminiscent of Ricky Ricardo: "Maggie, you got some splainin' to do!"? The movie was good. It was a romantic comedy of sorts with lots of naked in it. And sex talk and bad words, but it was really good!

Other than the movie, Thanksgiving day was normal, for me anyway. I slept in, which I think it the best start to any holiday. We also had dinner at Bro and SisIL's; wonderful hosts, great meal (well done SisIL!), good times. And I got to play kissie-face with my niece and nephew, of course! Right now the niece is in the Terrible Twos and hates all of us except her mom, which is okay because the Divine Ms K is well... 2. Duh. My 6 month old nephew loves everyone and he is the smiliest guy. They are both adorable.

I have a 4 day weekend due to the holiday. I am also greedy; therefore, I don't "have have" 2 days off. I agreed to work at the front desk doing my secretary thing at Alcatraz today. THEN I was called and asked to drive a transport. Many of the Alcatraz kids have earned a chance to go home for a few days over the holiday but they need to be picked up on Sunday. Awhile back I said I would be willing to haul kids around but I'd never been called to do it. I agreed to pick up three of the kids, one of them being PRINCESS! So, even though I have a 6 hour drive one way to go get her, I still get to hang with her Sunday. And get paid to do it. In a company car. So it's win win all the way around. The only thing I did was blow my 4 days weekend down to 2 days. Oh well! It's just 3 weeks until Christmas vacation! I can take some time off then!

Other than working tonight and the transport on Sunday, my big plan for the holiday weekend is to see more movies, if I can. I want to see Harry Potter 7 part I, and Morning Glory. I want to see Unstoppable and The Next Three Days but those aren't the I WANT TO SEE THEM NOW films like the first two I mentioned. Maybe I'll get to 'em. I want to finish a small knitting project as well. I also want to sleep in. I need to clean my room, clean the garage, do laundry and organize my closest but that feels so much like work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Turkey memory in honor of Thanksgiving

As I have mentioned in many previous posts, I am not really an animal person. I am nice to other people's pets and all, but for the most part, an animal lover I am not, especially those of the wild persuasion. I don't wish animals ill will, mind you, but I'm not gonna run out and join PETA or anything. And I am a carnivore. But I hate the idea of hunting- yeah I know- that makes no sense- I am a dichotomy! I even went hunting. I've talked about hunting again.

You know of my fear of spiders and other bugs (and I was thinking I could re-tell the story about the bunny I tried to save and the bugs with pinchers on its butt that tried to kill me when I lived in the frat house) which I don't consider animals. I just feel the need to point out I HATE, LOATHE and FEAR bugs, but I'm just... indifferent, if you will, about animals; I'm just not a lover of animals. Turkeys are no exception. I love turkey with dressing on my plate. Nowhere else. So imagine my surprise when....

I lived in the Wild West for three years. The following story happened to me about a month after I moved there. I came from a city where the wildest things I had encountered was Filene's Basement on Sale Day. I was a Cement Queen, shopping for the perfect pair of shoes was a hunting trip to me. I was NOT a NATURE girl and frankly, I'm still not.

So, I'm living in a small ranching town in the Wild West (again with the dichotomy). The first time I saw wild turkey in my yard, I screamed bloody murder, dropped my brief case and high tailed it back into the apartment where I promptly called a fellow teacher and in a voice that only dogs could hear, asked what in the hell was in my yard. When the fellow teacher calmed me down enough to get a description from me and realized I had not been attacked by man nor animal, she told me they were wild turkeys. I told her they couldn't be turkeys because turkeys were only found in the supermarket labeled "Butterball." Let's just say that story followed me for the three years I lived there. Anyway... There were wild turkeys that lived in a flock (are turkeys in flocks? gangs? hordes? herds? clans? whatever...) in town and sort of roamed around. Everyone was used to them and seemed she surprised that I was shocked to find TURKEYS hanging around in my front yard!

I had a second turkey encounter not long after my first turkey experience. I lived in a basement apartment so all my windows were eye level to the ground. And it was a beautiful day with a great breeze and sunshine so all the windows were open, including the one in my bathroom. So, I took a shower and when done, I was standing in the shower dripping wet, towel drying my hair and heard a weird scratching-like noise. I flipped my hair away and looked at the window. There, standing pressed against the screen, staring at me in profile with one great eye, was a HUGE wild turkey, and not of the liquor variety.

It was just standing there, staring at me. And pecking at the screen!!! It scared me to death. I yelped, it gobbled. I screamed, it fanned its tail feathers and pecked the screen with more intensity. I ran out of the bathroom, starkers, and hid in the bedroom. Let me clarify: hiding from the turkey was actually me standing in the middle of my bedroom, in the center of my bed, with having slammed the door closed and locked it. I was hyperventilating and dripping and trying to not scream bloody murder, less my neighbors think I was committing hari-kari. All I could think was that any minute, the giant wild turkey will come in and peck my eyes out. Hey, I saw Hitchcock's The Birds! Well, it didn't get in. After what seemed like an eternity but was probably only minutes, I put on a robe and tiptoed to my door and pressed my ear against. Yes, like I thought I would hear the turkey ransacking my apartment or something. Like you wouldn't do the same.

I grabbed a weapon. Okay, let me clarify one more time. I was a single woman who didn't believe in guns and I was standing half- nekkid in my bedroom, in the center of my bed thinking I was going to be murdered by poultry. Rational I was not; furthermore, I am a woman who collects, of all things, shoes, did then and do now. High Heels to be specific. When I say weapon, I use that word loosely. I grabbed a shoe. Not an expensive spike heel though it would've impaled the turkey nicely, but instead I got a clog I didn't like well in case the blood didn't come out. Now that I was armed, I took a deep breath and unlocked the bedroom door. I peeked out and saw nothing.

Great, now I had to walk all three feet down the hall to see into the bathroom, to check if the turkey pecked through the door and was waiting for me to return. So, I go peek into the bathroom making sure all was clear. Nothing in the bathroom, or any of the other rooms.

As I was leaning against the bathroom door in relief and contemplating why I owed those nasty clogs anyway, I looked out the window and what did I see? A whole herd of wild turkeys (flock, herd, what's the difference at this point?) shuffle passed my window. Only one was a "Pecking Tom!"

So this Thanksgiving, in addition to being thankful for family and friends, I am also thankful I no longer live where the deer and turkeys roam free. And I am thankful for window screens.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blog, Blogger, Bloggest

I have a bunch of blogs. I have this one. I also have:
My personal book blog, Turning Pages 2010
My film review blog Reel Reviews 2010
I belong to a virtual book club at Read Any Good Books Lately?

I had a travel blog, but I deleted it since I don't travel anymore. I started it when I had huge dreams of traveling all over, when I thought I might be moving to Ireland or Northern Ireland, when I thought I might summer in Italy, when I thought I could get a job in England... when I had dreams to always go. I still have the dreams and I can recreate the blog, should any of those things happen.

I had a photo blog. It was too hard to maintain because I was trying to post a picture each day. I just couldn't "get" it done all the time. I haven't deleted it but I don't put anything else on it. I keep it thinking if I ever want to resurrect it, it's there and I can.

I also have my 2009 book and 2009 film blogs; obviously I don't post on these any longer.

So I have a thing about blogging, I guess we could say. As the new year is approaching, I'm think I should do some blog housekeeping. I've decided I'm going to not continue with my film blogs. Since there's a tab option on here, I'm just going to keep a list of the movies I watch, and assign each of the movies a letter grade (the teacher in me never dies) as my rating style. I'm also not going to do the virtual book blog next year (sorry folks!). So that will eliminate 3 blogs. I am keeping my personal book blog and, of course, I'll keep this one.

I'm trying to decide if I want to create a blog to keep track of my 40 things to do before I'm 40 (please please please keep adding to this list! I haven't heard from some people...Bragger, Finn, Sam/P, Evil Pixie, Wiley... *ahem* no pressure *ahem*), or if I should just go ahead and incorporate it here on "shoes/ purses." I'm kicking that around. I could make a list of the things here in the side bar and just link each post to the list after I cross it off. Or make a whole new blog. Not sure.

I also have a super cool name for a blog called "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Blog." I've already created it and I don't know what to blog on it. I'm keeping it around, just in case. It could be my 40 for 40. It could be for some other great idea! Who knows?

Who knows what else I'll blog about in this life?

I like blogging. It's my crack. I'm a junkie. Thank the goddess I can't blog from my mobile devise. Crimmy, that would be bad!

"I'm Maggie, and I'm a blogger",

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The weather outside is frightful even if I don't have snow

I'm watching the weather channel and it's snowing in a good part of the United States right now. There are people who are having blizzards! And it's just November- gotta love that weird Mother Nature and Jack Frost annual love affair.

I used to live in the Wild West and I've been monitoring the weather in the town where I lived. And I cannot express enough how glad I am that I am NOT there right now. It's been between -7 and -23 for the last several days- those have been the highs. The wind is blowing in addition to the cold. And the snow! It's coming down like crazy. according to the weather channel, they have about 2 feet on the ground and are expecting about 14-20 inches. Again, I repeat, I am so very glad that I am not there in the middle of the cold, the snow and the wind.

I loved it when I was there. When I moved there I was a snow lover and a winter lover. I'm not sure what happened to me but I'm just no longer a fan. Oh, I like it being colder better than the sweltering hot summer. Most people who know me say I should live in Seattle because it has weather that would suite me; I don't know since I've never been there but it sounds good to me. Pardon me, I digress. Anyway...

I used to like winter. I would write long, eloquent posts about how much I adored winter and snow. Not so much. I hate the cold. The snow I don't mind so much but the biting cold, the harsh bitterness, the cold that seeps into my bones and won't let me get warm is what I hate. I still like the snow, I still like playing in it and driving in it doesn't bother me anymore since I've driven 2000 miles in a blizzard. But the cold that makes me feel old and won't let me get warm is what I hate. And last year was that sort of cold for weeks at a time and I couldn't get warm. It sort of turned my winter loving heart sour against the season.

All that being said. I hate the weather we're having more than blizzard and cold. Right now it's thunder storming. I live in the Midwest and it's lightening and thundering and raining right now. And it's about 65 degrees. It sucks. Oh, and did I mention the stupid humidity as well? I hate it. I want it to make like winter, get cold, and stay there. I wouldn't even mind some snow; however, if it was snowing here right now, with all the rain we've had in the last 25 hours WE'D have a blizzard!

Speaking of blizzards... well, I do like them. There is a part of me that would love an old fashioned snow storm. I like being snowed in and watching movies, reading a good book, maybe cooking something yummy. And as long as I have heat, electricity, and the Internet I would love a snow storm- I don't want much do I? But no, really, I like the magic of all the quiet that comes with the snowfall. I like knowing everyone is home and the world momentarily seems to stop and breathe. I like the respite from work, even just briefly. I'm still like a kid, waiting to see if I get a "snow day." Maybe that's why I like working in education- I still get Snow Days!

So while the rest of the country gets in the spirit of the holidays and enjoys the snow and some real winter, I'll be getting out my umbrellas and put my sweaters away.


And please vote for me here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

40 for 40

I have to say that "great minds think alike." I'm completely not kidding. This is the weirdest irony. It's like a giant "jinx, you owe me a Coke" moments. I've been playing around, writing a post about doing 40 things before I turned 40. I was going to post it this week, beg readers for ideas after they read the "rules/limits" publish the list on the Monday after Thanksgiving (Nov 29) and start on the list Dec. 1. BUT, guess what? BRAGGER already posted a list asking for suggestions from readers of 50 things she should do before she's 50. Now I feel like a big, plagiarizing, copycat.

I debated whether or not to give it a whirl & I decided what the heck! And I also emailed Bragger who gave me the green light to go forth and blog. (this isn't the first time she and I have had similar, tandem post topics. I swear you read enough of a person and you can become one with the blogger portion of their brain) And I'm going to mention Bragger frequently in this post because she did it so well the first time and... well, why should I recreate the wheel?

I want to do 40 new things that I haven't done before, before I turn 40 next Sept. 26. I'm scared for turning 40, and not really looking forward to it, hate the horridness that is that number, but I have to do it; turning 40 is better than the alternative. In an effort to not dwell on the old part, I've decided to try and do 40 things I've not done before.

I would love help from you. Please give me some suggestions! This is not a contest and there are no prizes if I do something you suggested. And while there are no RULES to your suggestions, there are some guidelines because, as Bragger put it, these suggestions should be "reasonable" (Bragger). Guidelines are as follows (you know I love to bullet things!):
  • Affordability. I don't make much over minimum wage an hour so money is an issue. I don't have a ton of money and sponsors so I need to keep costs for these things reasonable and affordable. If you want to give me a suggestion and then provide all the funding, I would seriously consider that, but until that happens, please keep costs to a minimum.
  • I can't quit my job or take lots of time off to do stuff. Please keep "time" in mind when suggesting. (Though if someone would like to fund a summer in Italy, we could certainly work that out!!!)

  • The 40 things don't have to be adventurous, death-defying acts (Bragger). I don't do heights and I don't do scary. If you've read here long enough, and if you read my "old" blog, then you really do know I will not parachute out of a plane, ride a roller coaster, bungee jumping or any of that scary crappola. Not this girl.

  • "It has to be something I have some control over, so it would be a waste to put 'win the lottery' as one of the 40 things" (Bragger). As would get married. Or publish a book.

  • "I would prefer that items on the list not turn into lifetime commitments" (Bragger) like having a baby or getting a pet or getting married.

  • Nothing that would be considered ridiculous or stupid. Silly is okay but stupid-- uh, no. Like get married or have a baby or touch spiders.

  • It cannot include things that have pain associated with them, like another tattoo. I also cannot get anything pierced because Daddy-O said I would be moving out (If I do move out before 9/26/11 I cam totally getting my nose pierced, though) if I came home with a piercing. OUT- not even threatened me with the Shed but OUT.

  • I also hope that you will take what you know about me into consideration and suggest things that are "Maggie Like".
I'm sure there are other "guidelines" I could suggest. Right now, though, these are the ones that sound reasonable and make the most sense. I was talking to Mac and Princess the other night about this concept and they helped me start the list. Now, I edited what they said because some of it is stuff I already did (like learn to belly dance- I took classes on this, thank you very much) and stuff that was not affordable (go to all Disney Theme Parks, including Disneyland and EuroDisney) or was ridiculous... or inappropriate. Here are the ideas they suggested.
  1. cook dinner every night for one month (Mac's idea, which was followed by cackling, hysterical, rolling on the floor laughter, and punctuated by a snide snort)
  2. take a zumba class
  3. take ballroom dancing lessons
  4. learn to juggle
  5. read a book by a Russian author (in the English translation)
  6. take a mini-road trip to somewhere I've never been
  7. give someone else a makeover (facial, style hair, give a mani- and a pedi-)
  8. Leave a couple books around in public places with inscriptions that they're free to those who find them
  9. Mail a postcard to "Post Secrets"
  10. bake cookies to send to troops, and then send them (rather than eat them all myself)
  11. make a Baked Alaska
  12. get highlights in my hair
  13. take a pottery class
  14. make bread once a month
Just because I have this started list doesn't mean that all 12 of these things will make the final cut. I want YOUR ideas and YOUR suggestions. So, please please please- feedback is wanted!

I can't wait to hear what you suggest!


Work Cited: Bragger. "I Need Your Help." Bragger. Blogspot, 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.

An aside: if you haven't already and would like to vote for my blog as one of the best of 2010, I would appreciate it! Please and thank you! And go here to vote!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What will your verse be?

I was reading a fellow blogger's post about a person's legacy; I would credit this person but I can't find the post again! Whenever I think of a legacy, one of the things I always think of is the movie Dead Poet's Society, of Carpi Diem, of the infamous line of "what will your verse be?"

I have been personally struggling with the questions this blogger posted. This last year has been rough and great and full of excitement, heartbreak, pain, work, play, joy, and disappointments. It's been sorrows and surprises. Ups and downs. The good, the bad and the ugly...You get my drift. But I think about these things. Maybe too much life change, maybe too much age 39 staring at 40, or maybe too much wanderlust and romance with life's journeys going unfulfilled. But I wonder what my verse will be. And this fellow blogger got me thinking.

This blogger wrote:
What is the worst thing you have ever done in your life? What is the best? What will your legacy be when you are gone? When fate forces the issue, where do you stand? Do you care? Does it matter?
I know the worst thing I've ever done and a very, very small handful of people know about it. I hope it's not what I am always remembered as. I think of the worst as being regrets. I try to have few. I have about 3-4 and I'm 39. That's not a bad list, right? I only have a regret if it's a 'situation' where I walked away and I still feel negative about it and it can't be fixed or changed. That's what leaves me with a regret. Everything else, well, I may have done things I'm not proud of but I made a choice and I did those things and that shapes who I am. I learned a lesson and walked away being a better person. (Sometimes drunker or "stupider" but in the end, better).

The best thing I think I've done is Mac. Nothing can be better than his mere existence. But will "mom" be my verse? We all wear many hats. I teach so I know some kids might remember me as that witch who gave them an F or as that cool English teacher who made Shakespeare fun. I'm a friend, a daughter, a sister, etc. BUT I'm a mom- Mac will forever be part of who I am and what I did in life. I write so my words on paper shall live longer than I, whether they are read by anyone other than friends and family is yet to be seen (other than bloggers of course). Are the hats I wear the things that define my verse? The question is posed that do I care how I'm remembered? Well, I'll be dead so I'll be past caring but... Okay, seriously. Do I care- yes. By Mac, yes. Anyone else...yes. I would love to say, no but it does matter. But what Mac remembers is the most important; he's what matters.

The blogger goes on to write:
Will people love you or hate you? I never thought anyone would hate me but now I can count at least one. I earned the enmity but it is still hard to swallow. I have done some good things in my life. That should count for something.
I'm sure there's someone out there who hates me (I've worked in education for more than 10 years. SOMEONE hates me. I have trouble keeping my mouth shut and my opinions to myself, again so I'm sure someone does! And I have an ex-husband. 'Nuff said there.). I don't know who, but I'm sure I've made enemies- no one has told me to my face they hate me, but hey, I'm not totally likable so there's got to be someone. I've done good things in my life and I hope I am remembered by those rather than by one act/deed/word that I did/uttered that was wrong.

The blogger further says:
But as this night falls my legacy has little of good in it. I used to live my life as if every day would be my lasting legacy to the world. Every day I had to do something that would make the world a little better than when I found it... I ask: what are the best and worst things you have done? Do they balance out?
There is some credence here. I think we should live each day as if it's our last. I'd like to think the good I have done does balances out the bad, but the last year has made me wonder.

This other guy's blog post certainly was food for thought. I know I want to be remembered as a fun, happy person who made others smile, created a beautiful boy child, smiled often, followed her whims and heart, was true to herself, laughed too loudly, cried too easily, loved passionately and deeply, and maybe touched someone.

So, I ask you again, what will your verse be?


And PLEASE feel free to vote for me here:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tickled Pink Saturday

I have three reasons to be tickled pink this particular Pink Saturday (thank you to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hostessing this weekly event!) that I just have to share!

I want to say thank you to Evil Pixie, blogger buddy extraordinaire for nominating me for blogger of the year. I am officially one of the top 25 best blogs, so far, as chosen on The Blog Guidebook. My status can go up, with a little help from my readers. Voting commences today. It says "Voting starts Saturday at 6 a.m., and ends at 6 p.m. on Friday. The five blogs with the lowest votes will be eliminated." This is for Round 1. So, if you click HERE (or on the button) and vote for me as "best blog" I'd be much obliged! I'm just tickled Pink that Evil Pixie would nominate me for such a wonderful honor! Thank you dear Pixie!

Here's what Evil Pixie wrote about me: The blog is written by Maggie O’Sullivan, and it is warm, funny, and frequently brilliant. Maggie writes about her life as a single mother, struggling to provide for her little family but always keeping her sense of humor. It is honest, insightful, and fun. Most importantly, it is real. She discusses everything from her relationships to her struggle in making ends meet. This is a blog that completely deserves your award. Thank you so much. I can't say thank you enough! (And though the award itself isn't Pink, the lettering is!) So please please please vote for me!


Princess went to her Prom tonight and she looked amazing. Alcatraz has a prom for their juniors and seniors and call is the President's Winter Ball. The dresses the girls wear are all donated and this is a huge, big deal. Princess had a donated dress that was not very becoming. So...

I borrowed the dress from a high schooler I know. Daddy-O got in the act and bought the shoes. Curly took care of all the jewelry and XRayGirl donated Bath and Body Works products for pre-prom preparation. I took her for a hair cut and color earlier this week- and to get a tiara. As I said, she looked amazing. Better than amazing. Beautiful. Stunning. She was a princess. Absolutely gorgeous. She had a wonderful time. It was a fancy dinner and dancing. She was the belle of the Winter Ball. It was my pleasure to be there. I was so proud of her and so happy this could happen for her. Here are two pictures of her (due to privacy issues, I can't show her face. You just have to take my word for it that she looked stunningly beautiful, like a true princess...) dress. Did I mention she likes pink?

I was tickled pink she was Cinderella for a night, and that we could all be her "mice'!

I'm tickled pink over my new job. I know I've mentioned it before, but I just can't wait to start work at Alcatraz in their school library. I start work on Wednesday. I am beyond happy and thrilled to be back there. And as the librarian!

Maybe I should wear pink shoes on my first day?

Happy Pink Saturday!
In Shoes We Trust,
Maggie Mae

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random brain thoughts

I was watching the movie Definitely, Maybe the other day. It's a cute little romantic comedy. One of the characters in the film was given a copy of Jane Eyre when she was a girl and it was inscribe by her dad. Throughout her life she looked for copies of the book at used bookstores and flea markets and the like. She collected copies of that book with other inscriptions. I thought that was the neatest, coolest thing ever. I love it when I see cool things like that in the movies, stuff that makes me smile and wish I thought of it first. Or wish I did something cool like that.

Mac listens to music when he takes a shower. I like to do this but I don't. Why, you may wonder? Umm, well sometimes I get carried away and sing and dance. Yes, in the shower. And I have a fear of slipping and falling. I do not want to explain that to my family or the EMTs that I broke my leg, singing "Like a Prayer" by Madonna in the shower.

Bon Jovi is going on tour again. I want to go. Mac has a theory as to why all these "old guys" are touring again. Because of women like me. Apparently since we're in our late 30s and 40s and we thought these guys, like Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, were hot when we were kids and now we're old women who want to relive our teen years so we go. And we're the only ones who can afford the tickets. I can't decided the level of "how offended should I be" with his summation. Brat.

I've lost 2 followers in the last 30 days. It makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong. I'm sure it's probably someone who joined me when I was holding my giveaway last March and doesn't really read. At least that's what I'm telling myself. It could be someone who is really busy and doesn't have time to read all the blogs she (or he) follows. But why didn't I make the cut? Oh, by the way, this is rhetorical question. Please don't tell me mean things.

Daddy-O had a gas fireplace in the living room. Mac doesn't have any clue how to run it at all; dad and I are the only ones. We are really careful about making sure it's turned off before we leave the house. Also the last person who goes to bed at night is in charge of making sure it's turned off. One night last week I came home late and the fireplace was off. I sat in the chair next to it and read, having never turned it on. Obviously someone had just gone to be because there was still some left over heat hovering. Then I went to bed and laid there for 10 minutes worrying about whether it was on or off. I went downstairs and it was off. BUT-- the next morning I woke up and it was on. I asked Mac if he turned it on in the night (he had been up sick in the night and he said no). I ask Daddy-O if he got up in the night and turned it on, and he said no. So, it either magically turned on, we had a cold ghost, or someone broke in- took nothing- and turned on the fireplace.

I'm trying to stop swearing again. I'm working on it, but it's slow going. I will still say "damn" and "hell." I've debated keeping "rat bastard" but I think I might pull that one out as my BIG GUN swear word. All others I'm trying to make off limits. I actually said "Jeeper Bananas" the other day. I have no idea where that came from (or what it means) but I didn't swear.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Define Beauty

"Beauty is only skin deep." Is that true? What is beauty? I have no idea what beauty is to everyone, only myself because it is in the eye of the beholder. I know what is beautiful to me, hence the concept of the eye of the beholder thingy. Sometimes I think defining beauty is being able to identify what is unattractive.

I was thinking I could crank out a list of things I think are beautiful, but I can't. Things I think are beautiful are so limited. I appreciate beauty but I also find there are other words which are much more apropos to describe so much. For example, I thought I would say that Sterling roses are beautiful. They are, but I think a better description would be fragile and exquisite. Princess cut diamonds are beautiful, but a better way to say it is sparkly and glamorous. My Wild West landscape is beautiful but a more accurate description would be haunting, picturesque, rolling, lonely.

Love could be considered beautiful. But what is love? Someone once told me his one true love was this statuesque red headed woman. He saw her walking on the boardwalk. She stopped and scooped a dropped bottle for a baby, for a woman who was juggling several unruly children. The redhead did this and then smiled a Mona Lisa smile and floated on her way. She then smiled her smile at him and his heart stopped. She has haunted him forever and he "loves" her. This isn't how we often think of the beauty of love, a small candid moment that passes between 2 strangers. But, I think this is a beautiful story.

Easily we all know things that are not beautiful: flood, famine, disaster, blood, gore... These things are not full of beauty. We can always point our fingers and say "oh, that's so gross" or "that's so ugly." We know what beauty is not. I've always wondered why it's so easy to identify the grotesque.

Poets write about beautiful things like women, weather, flowers, love, babies... Most folks point at fine art or lush gardens as beauty, but beauty is as individual as we are. Who do we find beautiful? I think Charlize Theoron is beautiful in the traditional sense of the word, but there are those who would disagree. I love photography and I think many of Annie Leibovitz photographs are beautiful but I know many who disagree. I have a book of her pictures'; it's a theme coffee table book of women- famous, rich, poor, the common woman, young, old, different races and creeds, with clothes and without. I think this book is full of beautiful photographs. Someone visiting my house once picked it up, flipped through it and called it "lesbian porn." What?!? I feel it's a beautiful compilation of beautiful subjects taken by an amazingly talented photographer while someone else thinks of it as porn...

A friend of mine sent me pictures of himself. I love hands; hand are beautiful and erotic and sensual and sexy and... anyway...! He sent me pictures. I look at these in 2 ways. The erotic turn on part which I'm not talking about here. The other part I will. The pictures he sent are beautiful. Shot close with a sepia setting. The shadows, the light play of sun and darkness. The look on his face, the intensity in his eyes. The angle of his hands, the tilt of his head, the way the camera captured the curl of the hair on his arms, the glint of light on his earring, the tousled hair... I think it's the combination of the way he holds his hands and the look in his eyes and the lighting that reach right into my soul and move me, take my breath away. If it was hanging in a collection of photographs in a museum display, what would we say about the subject? About his hands, his eyes, his expression? He is beautiful, utterly beautiful, in this photograph.

Words can be beautiful. I'm a wordsmith, a lover of words. I love to turn a phrase and enjoy the taste of words on my lips. I love to read descriptions and feel words cascade over me. Some writers can give me the chills and I think that is beauty. I have a sensual bonding with words as an art form and I think this is an unparalleled beauty. Words, simply words which can raise my hackles or stir my heart. Words alone, tied together.... I'm a "writer" so this is a beautiful craft.

My Wild West night skies were (are?) beautiful. The stars punctuate the sky and have this breathtaking splendor that is indescribable. To stand in utter the simple darkness of the night, with no trees, or city lights in the distance, to have nothing but unbroken sky the stretches to the end of the earth and that vast open space is filled with stars. More than saying they look diamonds. These stars in my Wild West sky defy explanation. All I can say is, "it's beautiful."

Beautiful people have filled my life but others often disagree with me. I've had some former Sams who made my GF's question my eyesight. These men are beautiful to me for some reason, for their hearts, their senses of humors, their smiles.... depends on the man, but they aren't jaw dropping handsome/ sexy in the beautiful traditional sense of the word. Then there is me. I don't think I'm a beautiful woman at all. I don't think I'm ugly, but I'm not beautiful. One or two men in my life have said I'm beautiful and whatever they see in me that is beauty is personal to them. Maybe that set a tone or a precedence, but beautiful I'm not. I love that those men told me this and I hold those compliments near and dear to my heart because they didn't say it lightly, or offhandedly. It was said with sincerity. Maybe for that instance I was beautiful. Or maybe I believe them because I want to be beautiful? (Though there was the evil Sam of lore who refused to ever say I was beautiful- it was even a discussion about that I was not beautiful nor stunning; just cute or maybe pretty at times. Jerk.)

And though I am not a beautiful person, I can see beauty and appreciate beauty, but usually in the unusual. Not always in the baby's coo, or the soft rose, or the perfectly sung aria, but in my stars, the photograph of my lover, the pages of books, in hands... I sat and trolled the great wide Internet for a wonderfully famous quote that sums up beauty and nothing is adequate, right, captures how I feel about beauty. I guess "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" will have to do.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In my own apartment

I've decided if I ever get my own apartment again, I'm going to:

have loose tea leaves in my kitchen rather than tea bags. I'll make pots of tea in china pots with a tea infuser and have different sorts to fit my mood.

I'll have green plants. I still haven't got my wandering Jew. Not only will I name the plants (the wandering Jew will be called Rabbi Greenbloom) but I'll talk to them and play them music.

I'll grow herbs in pots in the house all year around.

I'm going to have colorful towels on the towel racks out all the time. To use or for pretty, I don't care, but I still want them out.

I'll use my French press to make coffee.

I'll subscribe to a weekend morning paper.

I'll change the sheets twice a week.

I'll wander around the house in my skimpy nightgowns.

I'll eat dinner standing over the sink, out of the pan, by the light of the open refrigerator door.

Can we say pink bathroom?

Stencil Shakespeare comments on the living room walls.

And anything else I want!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It doesn't Matter Why I hate my job

I had this whole post written about how much I hate my job as a special education aide at this particular high school. It was full of explanations, complaints and whining about the kids, the woman who is the director of the special education department, and just a general all around gripe session. I even had a really good story about a teacher who defended me to the Spec. Ed. Boss one day because that teacher saw her treat me like spoiled yogurt.

But none of that really matters. Guess why?

Because this girl right here, the one writing this post, is now, officially, the new Alcatraz School Librarian! They hired me back. My former, to be again, boss said hiring me for the position was a "No brainer" and they didn't even bother to interview anyone else!

You have no idea how happy and relieved I am. None.

Since I took the job as the aide and left Alcatraz, I had a head ache almost every single day. I seriously thought I was growing a tumor. I dreaded getting up in the morning. I've taken 4 days off already. I hate it. But now, I'm happy, happy, happy!

I have so many ideas! I want to write a grant to buy sets of books to have a monthly book club. I want to train kids to go read to elementary schoolers. I want to have a book contest. I want to have a Dr. Seuss birthday celebration. I want to have a featured genre of the month. I want a bulletin board where kids can write a couple sentences about their favorite books to share with others. I'm trying to come up with "story time" if you will, for high schoolers...

My first "real" job (not paper carrier nor car hop count here) was at a library and I worked there for 7 years. It would be kinda cool if my work life came full circle and I was back to being a librarian.

I have no details about the job except I know my hours and my paid vacation days. I don't even know how much I make an hour and right now, I don't care- I know it's more than minimum wage, which is what I make right now as the "spec. ed. aide". I'll know more today.

I'm thrilled. Thank you.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 13- music

Day 13 is supposed to be about music that has gotten me through really tough times. Interesting because...

I don't feel like music has gotten me through tough times; I feel like my friends and family do that. When things go wrong in life I tend to either verbally spit it out to friends and family members, and my blog family, (Uhhhh- did that sound totally cheesy?) or I keep to myself and stew, fret and sleep.

Music, however, can sooth a mood. It certainly doesn't "get me through" but it can help offer relaxation. Or sometimes I get totally crazy and play "music that makes me feel better" or "music to think by."

Music that will relax me:
  • Classical with "Cannon in D" being my favorite piece but I listen to others, including Vivaldi, "Nocturne in G Minor", " Etude in C Minor, Op10, No. 12", "Piano Concerto #12", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Fur Elise", "Moonlight Sonata", "Butterfly Etude", "Minute Waltz", etc...
  • Opera. This is a new passion but I'm quickly becoming a fan. I'm a fan of Italian operas especially and I love "La boheme"!
  • Barry Manilow, Babs (that's Barbara Streisand for those not in the know) and big band/ swing music.
  • Michael Buble
I think the list of music that relaxes me makes me sound like a huge dork.

Music that helps me think:
  • I can't seem to name one artist. it's music that can play and I don't think about it. Maybe music I turn on and don't really "listen" too? It's the kind of music that can make background noise but won't distract me. And sometimes that varies, depending on the mood. Sometimes it's just anything on the radio. Other times it's my ipod. I can say that MOST of the time, but not all, but most, the Beatles fall right here. I can't explain it-sorry.
Finally, music that makes me feel better... well, disclaimer here. This is music that I consider my standby stuff. It's the stuff I go back to again and again, songs where I know all the words, songs that give me good memories... usually these are songs rather than artists but there are few groups/ people who are my go-to..
  • Billy Joel
  • Bon Jovi
  • Michael Buble
  • Train
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Avril Lavigne's "Let Go" album
  • Madonna (Like A Prayer or before, not the newer, weirder stuff. I like my Madonna in the 80s, early 90s, and slutty, without the stupid British accent, all "Like a Virgin"-esque)
  • Green Day
  • Jewel
  • "Purple Rain" by Prince. The song, not the whole album. (I think there's a whole post in this song alone... *ahem*)
  • 80s music
  • John Mellencamp (not his new crap, but the era of Lonesome Jubilee or older)
  • Anything I can sing along with, in a loud bawdy voice
  • Show tunes and soundtracks (Footloose, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Walk the Line)
Music that gets me through... with a little help from my friends. Hey, isn't that a song?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Days 11 and 12 are about compliments

I decided with these 30 days of truths if I don't get with it, I should never finish and drag it out until I'm 40, so here are two at a time. They are related so I've decided it's fine to combine these particular two. And that probably means I'll combine more in the future. Then kvetsch when I have no blog material. But I can cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I want to finish the 30 days of truth since I started it. So, without further ado, here are 11 and 12:

Day 11: Something people compliment you on the most
People generally tell me all the time how happy I am. Most folks compliment on having a positive attitude. Obviously that's been missing of late, due to so many things, but for the most part, I get complimented on being energetic and enthusiastic.

There's sort of a funny story on that compliment. I've been interviewed for two different jobs in the very recent past. I have not gotten either job because the people hiring feel the job is too "boring" or "conservative" for someone with my energy and enthusiasm. Something that seems my biggest "positive" has, apparently, been a hindrance.

Day 12: something people never compliment you on
Something people never compliment me on are my looks, or my physical appearance. They just don't. I think I have pretty eyes but they're hidden behind my glasses. I can have good hair but I think Daddy-O told me that my hair was... fluffy? Wide? Oh no, his word was BUSHY! (I prefer to think of it as fluffy!)

Regardless, people rarely compliment me on how I look. I'm sure that's quite telling, but I'm going to pretend I don't know what it tells.

However, there are a few times when my beauty has been complimented and I might as well put a positive spin on this. (I have this urge to do that; see above for why) There are some that have stuck with me since I heard them years and years ago.

The fourth best compliment regarding my looks, that I had in my life is one that I will always remember. I was told by a Sam many years ago that my stretch marks are beautiful because they are " a badge of motherhood and what could be more beautiful than that?"

The third best compliment in my life came from a woman. As we all know, I just adore men. Love, love, love me some men. But this.... well...I have always said the best men are married, gay or dead. Well, let's explore gay. And "he" is really a she in this compliment giving story. She's was a gay woman and she was with her partner for about 10 years at the time. I had known them both for about 4 years. We were all singing karaoke and she can sing. I mean, SING- she should be a professional. She has an amazing voice and each time she sings I get chills. The compliment she gave me was that every time she hears the song "You're Beautiful"(by James Blunt) she thinks of me. She said this describes how she feels about me to a tee. And she thinks I am beautiful.

AlaskaSam gave me the two best compliments of my entire life, tied for first place. The set up for one of them: we were in a class together and he and I had a heated debate during class. When the professor excused us for a break, AlaskaSam followed me outside onto the grassy noll (called the mall). He is hollering after me to stop and turn around. I did, and he walked right up to me, looked me dead in the eyes, merely inches from my face, and he said as far as the class discussion went I was dead wrong, that I was beautiful when I was angry and I was damn sexy. Then he turned and walked away- leaving me there standing with my mouth agape. My brilliant comeback: "I wasn't wrong...And, um, thanks!"

The second AlaskaSam compliment was one he said at random, I think. And I don't think it was solely on looks. I think it meant me as an overall person. Anyway... I don't remember what we were doing, where we were or if it was even in person or over the phone. He told me I am the kind of woman men go to war over. Damn...That was great.

So while most don't compliment me on my looks, I have these that stand out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Days of truth- Day 10

The 30 days of truth continues with "Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know", which is day number 10. (Yes, I plan to finish this someday... maybe)

This is a really diverse question I think. Someone I need to let go isn't necessarily someone I wish I never knew. I wish I never knew SD but I sure have let him go.

The answer is that I probably should've let AlaskaSam go along time ago. For those of you who know me well, know the history I have with that man. Those who read my previous blog, with the past moniker, know the sad, sordid, saga. Those who don't know.... well...

I was married and in college and AlaskaSam and I met and fell in love. Then I got divorced but he was in engaged. He dumped his fiance and I was living with someone. We are the royalty of bad timing. He gave me an ultimatum: move to Alaska or lose me forever. I didn't go. A year later I was ready and he was engaged and said to never call him again. Ten years later, we end up in contact; he's married and I'm single. We meet again, he decides to get a divorce but then doesn't and now we are friends.

I can't explain our connection but he is the only man I've ever loved, and probably will be the only one I ever will. We have a sense of telepathy that's crazy. We are true soul mates who could never get our acts together.

There's obviously more to this story than I could ever tell in one blog post or hundreds. But I love him and miss him every day.

Could be why I can't let him go. And never will.

Maggie Mae O'Sullivan

Friday, November 12, 2010


Since I've started this new job.... oh, hang on a minute. For those of you keeping track or need a score card, since I've returned from the Wild West 23 months ago, I've:
  • been a substitute teacher
  • been a special ed. aide on a 1 year contract only, due to grant funding which ran out- for a junior high school
  • scooped ice cream
  • been an insurance telemarketer
  • taught summer school at Alcatraz
  • filled a 7 week maternity leave as an English teacher at Alcatraz
  • part time photographer assistant (I shoot jobs as the assignments are available)
  • am a part time receptionist on weekends at Alcatraz
NOW I work at a high school as a special education aide. This is the job I am talking about in this post.

As I was saying, since I started THIS job, one class I've been assigned to is an Algebra I class; actually I'm in the class two periods a day with different kids, obviously, but same teacher and same lecture each day. I should point out that I do not have a sterling math background.

When I was in 8th grade I took one semester of pre-algebra and failed. Then when I was in 9th grade I took one semester of Algebra I and failed so I took the rest of the year as pre- algebra and barely passed. In my sophomore year, I took Algebra I and got a D-. In my junior year I took Geometry I and got a D- and I think it was because I cried most days and the teacher felt sorry for me. (And didn't ever want me in his class again!) My college math career wasn't much better. I took a "History of Math" and managed a C. Then I took Chem I, and earned a C. I also took Physics I and received a D-... again, more crying and more Professors not wanting me back again. So in my life, I have been "math-disabled" as well as "math-phobic."

So you can imagine my fear when I was told I was assigned to Algebra I. Twice a day. To HELP kids learn it. OMG! I go to class, I take copious notes, I do the homework... yes, I actually DO the homework, even though I have an answer key. I ask questions and I even go for "homework" help. I mean, please...! I'm assigned there to help my students. What good am I if I can't help anyone? It cracks me up (and makes me feel like a dolt) when the kid next to me, that I'm supposed to be helping, by the way, looks over at my work, and points out my errors and tells me, "You're doing it wrong!"

All that being said, I now have a confession. And Bragger, no I told you so-s, please! I am actually liking it. I like the thought process. I like the solutions. I like puzzling it out. I like that something I've not understood for 25 years is suddenly making sense. I like getting the right answer. I like that there is a right answer. I like the absoluteness of the math. I like KNOWING, and I like knowing I can do it. I'm slow and I have to do all the steps, but I. can. do. it!!!!!! Ok, when it comes to story problems, I'm still as helpless as I was when I was 15 years old. But I can find the slope intersects, the y-intercept. I can solve proportions and set them up. I can solve semi-complex equations with at least 2 variables. I can also do all this with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers. I can graph. I can solve for X. I understand and can use "rise over run". I am liking it.

I think I like it because it's the only thing I do during the course of the day that actually makes me think, that lets me flex my brain muscle, that lets me think.

And because I am NOT a "math" person, I have other non math people asking me to explain stuff. Yes, they ask ME to explain Algebra. I'll give you a moment to get yourselves under control. Go ahead... I'll wait.

I was explaining to two girls who are taking Algebra I for the third time. And when I explain it, they get it. I told them to think of negative numbers as money or as of pairs of shoes they are trading. I told them to remember that the sun rises so rise is on top of the fraction and run goes on the bottom. I told them to graph the points in two colors so they can SEE the math.

The math teacher said I would have an A- in his class right now if I was taking it for credit, and he laughed. But I think the man was serious. Sometimes I get so caught up in learning it, I raise my hand to give an answer and the kids laugh. Ooops! I wish I could replace that high school math grade on my transcript, dang it! Mac wanted to know why I didn't learn this 2 years ago when he was taking math and struggling along; he thought he could've passed with a higher grade!

I can't believe it either. Me & math. Who knew? I know! I don't lie. I just am shocked! It's just... weird. Math. Wow.

With age comes wisdom... finally!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Important seasonal announcement

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just an email from Starbucks and this season, for the holiday, for a limited time, they are selling...

Wait for it...

Wait for it....

Peppermint Mocha Starbucks Ice Cream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love time readers of me understand the importance and magnitude of this announcement. This could be heaven on earth. I must. have. some. now!

A Shocking Experience

Yesterday at school we were bemoaning the idiots that are students. They just are, many of them anyway, by nature. They are stupid creatures. And because of their stupidity, we as educators dream of the opportunity to give them a swift kick, duct tape them or just give 'em a smack.

That being said, I was reminded of a time when I accidentally made this dream come true.

When I lived in the Wild West I was invited to a cattle branding. One of my student's parents invited me and I took this opportunity to learn something new.

There were about 75 people there to help brand about 10,000 head. During the branding, the cattle also received ear tags and an inoculation. Since I had never done anything like this, and I sure didn't want to be on a horse roping the calves, I was put in charge of helping separate the calves from their mommies.

I was given an piece of equipment called a "Hot Shot." It was a long, thin, lightweight rod that I could touch to the cattle to make them move. It gave them a shot of electricity. Nothing that would harm them but would certainly get them moving. Think jolt like that from an electric fence or an electric shock collar for a dog.

I was partnered with a guy who sort of "shooed" or herded the calf in my direction and I gave it a zap with the Hot Shot and it would run up a chute, so it could be strapped to a "calfing table" where it received its brand, ear tag and drug shot. All I had to do was send the calves up the chute, goosing the slackers with the Hot Shot. It wasn't hard work and it was fun.

So I'm just standing there, doing my thing, when one of the most annoying students in the world comes up behind me. This is a kid I didn't really like all that much. He had been disruptive in my classroom on a daily occurrence. He had also been in HUGE trouble with me on 2 separate instances; once when he drew swastikas on a picture of the Star of David (when I was teaching The Diary of Anne Frank) and another time when he called a white kid in his class a "dumbass n-word" (when I was teaching To Kill a Mockingbird). In reality, this kid was just a big, dumb, racist, jerk. But I swear what happened what an accident.

I had never worked a branding and while my job was an easy one, I still wanted to do it right. And I was nervous about goosing the calves with electric jolts. I'm a pacifist by nature so this was a little weird, even though everyone and their brother (literally I had brothers) was telling me it didn't hurt 'em, it just go the calves attention. I was concentrating and trying to "talk" the calves up the chute before I resorted to the hertz usage.

So this idiot kid comes up behind me, taps me on the shoulder and says my name. I'm in deep concentration with my baby cowies and he startles me a bit. I jump and turn around and as I do, he steps toward me and I forgot I had my thumb on the "zap" button and... well...

ZAP!!!! Not once, but twice. Because when I did it the first time, he jumped and so did I- me from shock and him from the current of electricity coursing through him. i stepped forward to see if he was okay and he stumbled- into the Hot Shot. Of which I still had my thumb on the zapper button. So yes, he got it again.


I swear to god, and all other religious deities of your choice, I didn't do it on purpose. At all, ever. It really was an accident.

I finally dropped the Hot Shot and rushed over to him to see if he was okay. He was still standing but barely. He was twitching and jerking. It was sort of... Parkinson-esque. I did feel badly about it, but he was hilarious. For at least an hour he was still wiggling, fussing, and stuttering around.

I do admit it was wrong and on accident. But it was an accident. And couldn't have happened to a 'nicer' kid, if you get my drift!

By the way, his parents weren't mad and I didn't get in trouble. Everyone thought it was funny. However, no one else would come near me after that so I got a new job. I was put in charge of guarding the pickup truck bed that was full of about 500 cans of beer. Uh, yeah...

Accidental revenge is good,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still stressed, still whining

I hate those days when nothing really goes according to plan. Yesterday was one of those days. I had great expectations for my Tuesday but it all went to hell in hand basket.

I originally took yesterday off from work because I was supposed to have a doctor appointment and I was supposed to take a scrapbook class. The scrapbook class was actually after work but the doctor appoint was in Northern Civilization and during the work day. So last week I took the day off and scheduled a substitute.

On Friday of last week, the Planned Parenthood I go to for my physical called and said that from now on they don't do annual physical appointments on Mondays and Tuesdays. Due to budget cuts they need to re-schedule me on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

I figured I would go ahead and take the day off anyway, maybe go to Northern Civilization earlier in the day and hang out at the book stores or in my favorite park with a Starbucks if the weather was nice. Daddy-O talked about going with me as well.

Well, last night Daddy-O decided to not go with me, due to finances. Then the scrapbook store called and canceled my class because not enough people signed up! Well, damn! I gave some serious thought to calling my sub and canceling, just going to work but I couldn't find her number anywhere. I consoled myself with the fact that I could use a mental health day and would stay home with my laptop, in my jammies, drinking coffee and doing a mass resume mailing in an effort to get a new job.

Well, that didn't work. Partially it was my fault, I realize.

Mac woke up with a HUGE headache, sinus pressure, clogged nose, ear ache and sore throat. I told him he could stay home and sleep but he had to go to school because he has play practice this week. The show is Thursday night and this is dress rehearsal week. I know he's been so busy and tired, burning the candle at both ends with school until 315, cheer leading 330-6pm and then play practice 6-9pm Then homework after that. So, I figures he was very run down. I also know that right now the sinus issues for folks are off the charts bad right now with our freaky weather. The Weather Channel TV station was even talking about the sinus/ weather problems here in the Midwest right now. So, I told him he could stay home and sleep half a day.

Around 11:30am he announces that he doesn't "have" to go to school because the rule of "no school= no activities" is only for sports. So he ended up staying home all day. That totally messed with my mental health time because he started filling out college applications which meant he hit me with twenty questions. Then he wanted to know if he could re-take the SAT and when and it costs $50. Then College 2's application cost $50. It was all about money. I finally told him to shut up, go away and leave me alone.

I also had a huge conversation with Mac's cheer leading coach about tomorrow. There's an athletic awards dinner. He has to be there, dressed up. Also, he has lifting and it's a dress rehearsal for the play (the play is tomorrow night), and he has to bring a covered dish. Damn it, I can't catch a break. I did pack his gym bag, making sure he had everything he needed so we don't have to run back and forth, making extra trips. And I got a brownie mix for his contribution to the meal.

Then last night I decided to watch a movie called The Ultimate Heist and nowhere on the box did it way it was a French film that had been dubbed over. Badly dubbed over and very boring. By the way, it sucked. What pisses me off, is that a few of the French actors speak English and they didn't even do their parts in the voice over. It's pretty terrible. Jean Reno is in it and he didn't do his English either. Suckage.

I did get some job applications done; that's the good part. Not as many as I wanted but at least I got some done. So much for a relaxing, mental health day.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I got a blog award!

Thanks to fellow blogger Jesse at "The Art of Jesse" for giving me such a nice Blog award- it's the "Pass the Baton of Friendship."

As with many blog awards, it comes with "requirements." The obvious one is I have to display the award.

Next, I have to answer these questions:

1 - too small when you were asked, what you wanted to do when you were big; What did you reply?
2 - What were your favorite cartoons?
3 - What were your favorite games?
4 - What year was your nicest birthday and why?
5 - What were the things you absolutely wanted to do, and not yet done?
6 - Which 'was your first love? sports? or what not?
7 - Which was your first musical idol?
8 - Which was the most' beautiful sought (and eventually received), Santa Claus, Jesus' Child, Saint Lucia, Christmas gift?

1-I wanted to be a garbage man when I grew up. I was about 3 years old when I said this. I also wanted to be an actress.

2- I was never a huge cartoon watcher as a child. I remember Coyote and RoadRunner.

3- We loved games, especially board games as kids: Monopoly, Clue, Life, Sorry, Aggravation, Old Maid, Perfection were some of our favorites.

4- I'm sure I've had other nice birthdays but the one I remember most, since I'm thinking about my childhood, is my 11th. My parents let me have 10 girls stay over night; they all came and it was awesome.

5- I already have a huge Bucket List. I would say that so far I want to live in England, and I want to spend a summer, at least, in Italy.

6- First love was with books and that's a romance that still lingers on even today. I also loved music and theater early on.

7- Music idol was probably Bon Jovi. Go ahead and make fun- I can take it.

8- The best Christmas gift ever was the Barbi Dream house my grandfather made me for my 8th Christmas. It was amazing, and much better than the plastic one at the store.

Now I have to pass it on to 10 people:
I give it to Curly, Gulo, and Sam/P. They are folks who don't blog but they read me every single day and are my friends and I wanted to give them something. Love you ladies!

4. Bragger
5. Lilith
6. Jimmie Earl
7. Evil Pixie
8. Jain at Food for Thought

9. D-Nice
10. Wiley

So there you have it! Thanks for Jesse!


Monday, November 8, 2010

The search continues... College 2 makes the grade, not so much for College 3

Sorry for the last post- but whew!!!! Mac and I are continuing on the quest to find the perfect college for him. Today we made 2 visits to two separate colleges. Word of advise: don't do this. OMG- I am soooooooooo tired. My body is tired from walking all over the place and my brain is tired from all the information and all the questions. I thought it was going to be hard to top our visit College 1, but...

College 2: Today we visited a state university, campus population 21,000. There are over 300 majors, study abroad programs, 18 different places to eat on campus for dining, and co-ed residence halls. There's free athletic events and they're a Division 1 school which is cool. They also have a major auditorium which is a public event arena which gets Big Name entertainment and students get to go for free. The technology is amazing here- they are state of the art and up to date with all the possible technology you could dream of. The campus is 50-50 Apple and PC. The student/ faculty ratio is 19 to 1. Freshmen can park for free. There are also computer labs all over the campus so there is a 1 to 1 , which is amazing for a huge university. They have the academic program he wants, the social life he wants and the size doesn't scare him.

College 3: A small Christian school with around 1300 students. But as we walked around the campus we wondered where all the students were; I'm not kidding. It was 3pm in the afternoon and we saw some kids playing Frisbee golf and that was it. We were super impressed with our faculty meet and greet; that was the only thing that impressed me. The rest-- feh. The meal plan is terrible and everything seemed "run down." Mac and I both love old schools, historic schools. But this was more run down rather than old. All the little extras cost money like using printing paper (which is free at College 1 and 2), athletic events, and campus parking. Mac didn't like the dorms- and we had a girl tour guide who didn't even show us a guy's dorm.

So! Mac is madly in love with college's 1 and 2. He was bummed that College 2 didn't give him a free t-shirt (but colleges 1 and 3 did!) but that was the only thing he felt was a negative. Mac and Daddy-O (I can't miss many more days of school so he agreed to go to round two!) are going back to this school so he can sit in on a class, meet 2 professors (one from the music department and 1 from the political science dept) and have a more in-depth discussion with with admissions.

While it wasn't the rock star treatment we had at College 1, we were still impressed with College 2. I had to admit I was wrong and was impressed by such a big state school, and that they managed to give it a personal touch, even for a school of its size.

Now, in two weeks we will see the last two schools: one more small, liberal arts Christian college and then the largest state school in my state, which boasts 40,000 on it's main campus. This should be interesting.

Then all the visits will be completed and then we can study financial aid packages and make a decision.

I will be so glad when all this over and he's enrolled somewhere that makes him happy and feels like home. Then I can breathe.

Mac's Mom,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

14 questions meme

Thanks to Sunday Stealing for letting my mind relax by providing me with a meme! And I haven't done one of these in months, so I don't feel too terribly bad about it.

1. What do you consider your hometown to be?
a small-ish town in the Midwest I've labeled Civilization

2. What’s the hardest part of your average day?
going to work, being at work- anything that has to do with my job

3. The easiest? Why?
leaving work- because I hate this job

4. What beverage do you reach for to quench your thirst?
ice tea, coffee, soda (but I am trying to drink more eater!)

5. What is one not-so-secret goal you have for your life? I’ll let you keep your secret ones to yourself.
Live in Europe

6. What physical pain do you fear most? For example, I’m trying to decide how bad my jaw pain needs to get before I risk a potential needle from my dentist. So, for me, throbbing is preferable to jabbing.
I fear ALL physical pain, especially if it's called "tearing" or "ripping"

7. Where do you find solace?
I don't very often anymore. usually sleeping

8. What makes you the saddest when you read/see the news?
Obama failing.

9. What do you eat for a favorite snack?
junk food

10. What movie could you/would you watch more than two or three times and still enjoy just as much as the first time?
Twister. I know, don't ask...

11. What boy/girl first made you cry?
a boy named Jeff

12. What brand of coffee/tea do you drink most often?
Starbucks coffee

13. Dig in the dirt with or without garden gloves?
I have before but I don't like creepy-crawlies so I usually wear gloves

14. James Taylor or Carly Simon?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Self pity alert because of the Week from hell or "what did I do in a previous life to deserve all this?"

This has been one of the worst weeks I can remember in a long, long time. Here's why:

Curly's dad died. He was just diagnosed two weeks ago with a brain tumor and now he's gone. I feel so sad for Curly and her family; I wish there was something I could do or say to make her feel better, but there's nothing, of course. I've lost a parent so I can empathize but still... there's nothing I can do.

AlaskaSam had a "pretty severe heart attack" according to his email. Then today he had a heart cath to see the extent of the damage. He's there and I'm here and there's nothing I can do. Nothing except wait to see what emails and texts I get. I can't imagine what the world would be like for me if he's not in it, even though we're a bajillion miles apart and have all the other issues. But I feel sick and scared and worried and it's hard to breathe. He can't die.

Those were the important things. This week had so many 'little' things which are the things that are usually the straws that break the camels' proverbial backs, right? So I had little things...

On Wednesday night the brakes in my car gave out. Thank the gods for XRayGirl's husband who took my whole car apart and put new ones one at a moment's notice. Free labor, cost of parts only, plus 1 peach cobbler.

My ATM card didn't work Friday morning which meant I had to put back my coffee, danish and Mac's breakfast. I was so happy I didn't get fuel because that would've been a disaster. So I panicked at work all day long, worrying I had overdrawn somehow and it was going to be $30 per bounce. So after work I went straight to the bank and I had a balance of 93 cents. I was so happy I cried.

And speaking of money, I got my first check from the new school and it's very small. We don't even want to look at the list of things I need to pay for like graduation stuff, senior stuff, sports stuff, bills, and other miscellany that are too numerous to mention. I can't even afford my annual physical or my BCpill renewal, which I'm sure is causing my hormones to be completely outta whack.

And speaking of health... I've awakened daily with a headache in the same place and it's excruciating. I take a ton of aspirin and it's gone my mid morning but it still scares me, all things considered this week. (No, I'm not a hypochondriac)

My cell phone stopped working, just randomly stopped. After work I called Verizon Wireless and the stupid jerk in customer service department needs to be fired. I told him what was wrong with my phone AND I mentioned that others I knew said there were tower problems. He informed me there were no tower problems and I was shut off for non-payment. He then sent me to financial services. The guy in FS said the customer service guy was wrong; this dude had on the screen right in front of him that my bill was fine. So he sent me to technical services. The techie guy said there were outages all over the place and it wasn't my device or the billing. He was nice and kind. He also gave me a day credit AND said I should be back up by Friday night. (I wasn't, by the way...) He said if I don't have service by noon today, I need to call back. At least I know the phone itself isn't broken and that it wasn't a payment issue.

Work sucks. My boss is a terror. Most of the kids are as bad. I have no idea how to do 8th grade math and make T charts (what the hell does a T chart have to do with y-intercepts is beyond me...) and because I can't do it, the other aide has to help and she's mad at me because I can't help my own students. She was my only Allie and now she's pissed. Great.

I was late to work twice this week- two days in a row, as a matter of fact- because I got stuck behind a school bus once and stopped by a train the next time.

Mac is having issues at school, which seem to always trickle down to good old mom and I can't fix anything for him. And I just have to put up with the crap attitude.

And it spit snow today for about an hour. It didn't stick but I think that means it's now officially cold. And ick. And wintery. Brrrrrrr!

That's the list. All of this since.... Wednesday. I can't take anymore.

I don't even think Calgon could take me away,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 9- Someone you didn't want to let go but just drifted

The 30 days of truth continue...

I've wracked my brain to come up with a person and I can't think of anyone who stands out.

I had an ex boyfriend that I stayed in contact with (yeah, you're probably asking which one I'm talking about) who needed a kidney transplant. We lost touch a few years ago (about 4 now?) and I think it was because he was so sick he was losing touch with lots of his friends.

Then I found out through a mutual friend he did get a kidney and was alive and kicking and somewhere. I have no other news of him. I had an old cell phone number of his that I've called a few times and it's still his voice on the voice mail recording but he's never called back.

He was a nice guy but had lots of issues and I couldn't help him or save him. He didn't want help at the time. But I do miss him because he was so funny, hilarious. He was handsome. He had a great voice- I loved to hear him sing. His voice was sexy and he was good in bed. He had a brilliant mind. I guess that sounds sort of like a eulogy and I don't mean it to be but since I've lost contact with him over 4 years ago, it sort of is like a death- the death of a friendship.

I moved to the Wild West and he was here. He lost his job when he got really sick so he lost his Internet. The time change screwed with out phone calls and one day led to a week to a month and then suddenly *poof* the friendship was gone.

There you have it. I still miss him.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 8- who made my life hell

For day 8 of the 30 days of truth, I'm supposed to write about someone who made my life hell. Again, this is an easy one and it's also a cop out: my ex- husband, the Sperm Donor.

He's an asshole and I could use a whole stream of expletives to describe him.

But here's a little story, instead, to demonstrate his complete and utter lack of character:

Two weeks before Christmas 2009 SD kicked Mac out of his house because he didn't like that Mac argued with him and his wife. I talked to Mac AND the ex about it and that's what it came down to. He didn't like how Mac talked to him. While the rest of the teenagers in the country are smart-mouths to their parents, my ex kicks his son out because he can. Furthermore, since then, they tried to mend fences. When I called SD, that is. When I convinced Mac to call, that is. Then I would orchestrate meetings because I could see how much the estrangement was hurting Mac.

It didn't work. So they barely spoke. SD didn't go to Mac's school play last year when he was Alice in Wonderland, he didn't go to his choir concert when he solo-ed, he didn't even show up for his awards program. He wouldn't take his phone calls.

Then in June, Mac tried to use his iTunes account and lo and behold it was cancelled. Mac called SD to see why and they fought. Mac was in tears and screaming and practically hysterical. Since that day in June, not one word has been spoke to SD from this house or his.

SD is a childish brat and he will not realize he is the parent and Mac is the child. He will not offer the olive branch. He will not see he was wrong, and he was. He will not try to make amends. He is a person who is always right while all the rest of us are wrong. He doesn't bend. He isn't kind nor considerate and he could care less how Mac feels. He doesn't call Mac. Mac is hurt, mad and angry. Mac is a senior and having a school year of wonderful successes but his father is being a jerk and having no contact. He will not speak to me, either, which is maybe a good thing.

Mac is hurt and mad. SD is a horror or a human being, a worthless bag of air taking up valuable space on this planet, and taking away resources from those of us who are productive.

He's hurting MY son. So when I talk about a person who makes my life hell, I quickly point a finger to my ex because while he isn't directly bothering me (I enjoy the silence; I pretend like he's dead) he hurts Mac so that hurts me. Mac hurts, and I bleed.

Sperm Donor is evil.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore

When ITSam started talking about getting married, you know back when we were together, and thought I was wrong to go along with it and I didn't listen to the little voice inside my head telling me "no", I did go with him to jewelry stores to try on rings. I am human. I am a woman. I do LIKE things that sparkle. Hel-LO! Wrong yes, but I did it anyway.

So we went to stores together and I tried on rings. I have no idea what protocol is for this adventure. Am I supposed to point out what I want, be meek and mild and let him do the talking? Should I have demurred? I have no idea and these trips were uncomfortable and awkward. That should've been a sign.

We never did find anything that just jumped out at me, or him. He said he didn't care what I got as long as I liked it. He wanted me to come along and pick it because he felt he could never capture the taste of what would fit my personality. Okay... being the control freak that I am, I did like that.

One day I saw an ad for a privately owned little place about 20 minutes from here in the town where I happened to go to University. I ran up there after work one day, to see if they had anything. OMG- they did. It was the perfect ring. It was an estate vintage piece and it was just what I wanted, in the diamond world. It was affordable as well.

The next day ITSam went with me and we looked again. He liked it quite a bit and said it was fine. We did some discussing and haggling and all was well with the ring.

Then everything with us went to hell.

Then last Friday the jeweler called me about the ring and left a message. I didn't do anything, thinking maybe she would look at her phone list and see she called me and then try and call him. Wrong. She called and left me another voice mail. This time, through texting, I told Sam she was calling and he needed to call and take care of it.

She called again. I text Sam again. Today he sent me a text and told me that "contacting the jeweler is completed." Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I have no idea if Sam had bought the ring or was making payments or what the deal was. I honestly don't know. I don't care what HIS plan was for the ring.

What I think really sucks is that I want that ring. I found it myself. And what is sad, is that it wouldn't even remind me of Sam or a bad relationship. it would be the awesome, vintage, estate piece I found in a quirky, funky little jewelry shop. I don't have a grand to buy it for myself. And what do I do with it once I get it, I guess would be the next logical question. It is an engagement ring. It looks like one so I can't even fake that. I could wear it on my right hand. I can't exactly save it in a box and hope if some guy comes along (yeah right) and wants to get married (yeah right) that I whip it out and say "I just happen to have an engagement ring right here." I think not. That's like the woman who buys the Vera Wang wedding gown on sale and keeps it just in case. Pathetic.

But it was SUCH a perfect ring, and just what I wanted, and sparkly. I'd rather have the ring than the guy, dang it.

If anyone has a grand laying about and wants to buy me a diamond engagement ring... well, it doesn't mean we have a commitment or anything. I promise. Really. I do!