Sunday, July 31, 2011

32. Take a jewelry making class

I really wanted to go and take an actual workshop to make jewelry but I think this is going to suffice, and I will cross this task off the list!

A few months ago a local artist came to Alcatraz and did a jewelry making workshop. She's published several books about the art of jewelry making and she... well, she makes a living as an artist and this is one of her skills. I will lucky enough to go to high school with her and begged her to come do this, and she did! Because this was one of my ideas and library activities, I got to participate, too!

Above are some of the supplies. The blue handled gadgets are tools to punch holes in metal. In the wooden leaf bowl is foreign money and then the middle container is all beads.

We all had a chance to make "pirate necklaces", since we did this the week before Pirates of the Caribbean 4 came out. The kids all thought I put the workshop instructor up to it since they know of my obsession with Johnny Depp! Too funny!

Anyway, each of us was allowed to select a coin, a few beads and some cord. We also had to have clasps and hasps to put it all together.

Below is a picture of one of the workshop attender's punching a hole in a coin.

Above is a picture of one of the attendees flattening the hasp and taking the shine off it, so it looks more pirate-y!

Here is a picture of all the necklaces we made that day!

And finally, here's the necklace I made. I gave it to ITSam because I thought it looked manly. And because I'd never given him jewelry.

It was a good time and I liked doing it. This artist does workshops all over the country and she does some that are fancy and expensive and other times she does small ones that are affordable. I want to take one where I can do something extensive with beads, maybe a beaded necklace or a bracelet?

But it was fun to make our pirate necklaces and it was clever to use her left over foreign money and the kids had a good time, and do did I!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Maybe I will and maybe I won't...

I have a feeling my 40 Before 40 List is a bust. Not because I'm choosing to give up, but because time and money are influencing some of these things. I don't think I'll accomplish all these things.

I didn't dye a streak of pink in my hair while I was on break for two reasons: 1) Mac kept busting my ass about it, saying something about me being too old to do it and I'll look stupid; and, 2) I'm afraid it wouldn't wash out before I had to go back to school.

I'm not going to get any Russian novels read, no matter the translation and I won't get 7 classics read before then either, mostly because I don't feel like reading any classics right now. I have a good list of books to read, none of them to do with classics or Russia.

I'm going back on Weight Watchers on Monday so I think the Backed Alaska and the homemade bread are both bad ideas.

I have about 2 months left so learning to play an instrument in that short time isn't going to happen. Same with subscribing to a magazine...

Due to $$$$, a mini- road trip to somewhere I've never been is out, and unless a blogging buddy comes to me, that's probably out for the same reasons.

Because I'm the epitome of lazy, I really don't think I'll attend a synagogue because I have to find one and then drive an 1 and then go. I hate doing some stuff alone. I also don't feel like volunteering at a charity. I feel like I do so much stuff for the kids at Alcatraz on my own time, I just don't have what it takes to go somewhere else and volunteer right now. I'm selfish, I realize.

I've given some thought to changing some things on the list to fit what I can do but that doesn't seem right.

I'm debating whether or not I want to finish the list since so many things aren't going to happen at all. I have two things I've done that I need to blog about, and I have pictures to go with one of them, and I'll still do it but I'm not sure about the rest. The jury is out.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Big thank yous!

This college business is really expensive. When I heard Mac was getting a full ride (basically) this year I wasn't worried. But now we're buying stuff for his dorm room and I should've been worried! It's like furnishing a mini-apartment! I have no idea why this thought process didn't dawn on me before, but since it has, it's an incredible amount of money!

The school sent this huge list of stuff and we've started the shopping and gathering process.

I'm thankful for those who are helping! D-Nice sent Mac this awesome bedding set and it's beautiful! He loves it! Thank you! Curly helped with all sorts of miscellaneous things he needs like a flashlight and batteries, a blender, a set of sheets, some food, closet organizers, and all sorts of those "mom would buy" stuffs- thank you!!! ITSam got the microwave covered as a late graduation gift. Daddy-O got (is getting?) a new cord for Mac's Bose headphones and is sacrificing his beer fridge for Mac to take to college- thank you!!! Auntie Booknut is loaning her van for the take him to college on the first day, and because she's an office supplies lover like me, she's outfitting his entire desk with all the necessary supplies as a special to Mac from his Best Auntie- thank you!!!

This is all in addition to the stuff I got him like sheets, towels, laundry supplies, a desk lamp, an alarm clock, new clothes, a box fan (since he picked the only dorm on campus with no central air!) and all his toiletries. I can't believe all the stuff he still needs (an XL twin mattress pad... Wally World does NOT carry these!)!

I think when a school says full ride, they should also include this stuff! I'm really happy for the things he already had like a scientific calculator, pillows, a Bible...

I'm not complaining at all, I'm just amazed at the amount of things. It's been fun to shop for this stuff. Mac LOVES red so we've gotten all sorts of stuff in red and black, so it looks really cool. I think it will be fun to help him unpack all this and get his room set up. I'm really excited that he wants me to help him set up his room, too! (I had this dreaded feeling that I'd pick him up in 6 weeks for a long visit home and find stuff still in Wal-Mart sacks, boxes with tags still attached.)

Thanks for everyone who's helping (or helped!!!). I couldn't do it without you!!!!

22 days until take off...
Mac's mom,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Work starts sooner rather than the much desired later

Because I have a child going to college in 23 days and because I'm financially desperate, I've agreed to fill in for a person at this weekend at my weekend receptionist job, both Friday and Saturday nights. On my last weekend of my entire summer vacation. Yes, I'm a glutton. I have no one to blame but myself. But it's filling in for a great guy who I have a sort of an "old man" (He's around 74 but is AWESOME!) crush on so I would cover for him anytime. And he covered for me about a million times last school year so I could go to everything Mac. But it all happened in about 7 phone calls.

This has been an interesting week. No one from school nor front desk have called me all month long for anything. But not this week! This week I've had one work call after another. Is it because my vacay is winding down so I just need to adapt and people are beyond caring? I just thought it was funny that it seemed like everyone "respected" my vacation until the last week when I was consumed by a plethora of calls.

My principal called me with a few things. This coming year we're going to have 2 male PE teachers, and no female ones. I guess one of my new "responsibilities" is that I'll have locker room duty for three periods a day. It means I'll have to stand outside the locker room and be ready to go in to break up fights or anything else that might be inappropriate.

On the good side, he did say that he's found a stipend for me since I'm doing an art group since our art department was cut entirely. And our company's grant writer called me and asked me what I wanted for the art group as far as supplies and she's going to write a grant for it. That's awesome! Oh, and back to the principal, he asked me if I wanted to direct the school play this coming year and if I say yes, then I will also get a stipend.

Another work phone call informed me that I missed my TB test so I have to get to the county health nurse to do it before Aug. 5. This was about 3 phone calls, and counting.

Finally, I had another strange job offer. We have students who don't live on our campus but they go to our school. These kids don't have an assigned adult to monitor them during lunch. I'm hired for that gig, and I'll make about $15 a day to walk these kids to lunch, eat at the same table with them, and then sit with them until the bell. I know all these kids and they're pretty awesome.

Looks like work looms but with that is going to come some good money-making opportunities!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The end is near

I have 4 days of summer vacation left.

I'm so NOT ready to go back yet. I LOVE my job but I LOVE summer vacay.

I'm selfish, I know. I think it's because I know it will be the last time I have a break this long. I'm going to start hitting the resume/ job hunting thing again, hard. I need to make $30k or more, and get some benefits. And anything job-wise in the real world does not let a person have a month of vacation.

Ugh, back to school Aug. 1.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weird random thoughts for a Tuesday

In the movie Pretty Woman, most of the clothes that Julia Robert's character tries or or buys is back in style now. Is that good or bad? And I also noted how young Robert's voice is in that movie. A young sounding voice is an odd thing to say, but still, she sounds young.

The heat here is terrible. I live in the wrong place. I should live where it never, ever gets this hot. I was told I should live in Ireland. Well, I think I knew that! Someone from there pointed out that they don't have central air because it never gets this hot, that the sort of heat we have here would make it too hot to do anything, including sex. I think central air makes it possible to have sex in this sort of heat...

Many years ago I had a collection of Disney villain statues. A Sam I was living with many, many years ago bought them for me. They were breakable but I don't remember if they were porcelain or some resin or something. Anyway, when he and I broke up he took them back- the ass. I've always wanted another set. I had Captain Hook, Malificent, Cruella, Ursula, Cinderella's Evil Step-Mother, and The Evil Queen (in Snow White). I had these on a shelf in my office, when I was in social work. What was funny is that the kids I worked with always laughed because they said I was the furthest thing from a villain. The thing is, I can identify with the villains better than I can the Princesses. I'm weird.

Should I send meds to college with Mac? I got him Tylenol, hydrogen- peroxide, band aids, cotton balls... but should I give him some Day-Quil and Night-Quil in his stash so if he needs it if he gets sick?

I want to smack Mac most of the time. I love him and I'm a pacifist but I really feel like smacking him, most of the time. A friend of my father's said that the reason our kids are jerks before they go to college is because it's God's way of us letting them leave the nest without losing our minds. I really think she's right. And I really hope she knows what she's talking about! I'd take him to school today if I could.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Quiet time

Mac*, Daddy-O and I all crave our alone time. Daddy-O's house is an open concept and the only place to close a door to a room is his bedroom and "my" bathroom. If you get a good head of steam and want to throw a big ole hissy fit and slam a door, your options are obviously severely limited.

Anyway, we all crave our alone time. Mac, being an only child and used to having his own room, is a kid who always likes to be alone. I've been an on my own grown up with my own place until Christmas 2008. Daddy-O, believe it or not, got used to having the house to himself after my mom died. So sometimes, all three of us go a little stark raving mad being around each other all time, especially lately because it's hotter than hell and no one wants to go outside in the heat.

Daddy-O and I often take off together and Mac gets the house to himself that way. During the school year Daddy-O gets the house to himself while Mac and I were at school. Mac and I also take off together, or he goes with his friends and I go with mine. I have found that I often don't have alone time. Mac and Daddy-O don't seem to ever leave at the same time (maybe I should give them money and my car and send them to see a movie together! ).

So this morning, I woke up early, about 7:02 am, give or take. Rather than roll over and going back to bed, I actually came downstairs and made a pot of coffee and sat on the sofa to read. It was like being alone and I loved it. I like the stillness of the quiet, of not hearing other people move or breathe.

Then I heard Mac turn his video game on and the moment was lost. Oh, he didn't come downstairs or anything, but the spell was broken. Then father emerged from his room and the began.

While I'm certainly NOT a morning person, there is something to be said for getting up early.

Now none of this is meant in a mean way at all, and no one really does anything to disturb each other purposely when we're all home together; often Mac is upstairs with headphones on and in silence and Daddy-O and I are sitting quietly in the living room or dining room, reading or crafting. I'm really not complaining and I'm certainly grateful that Daddy-O gave us a place to live. None of us ever intended for it to turn out like this, so I'm really not complaining!

Sometimes it's nice just to have the house all to yourself...


*(Pardon me while I pontificate on a subject apropos to nothing. When I first typed "Mac" I miss- key stroked and typed "Mad". Is that my subconscious trying to tell me something? He's mad as in insane or angry? Or am I just "mad" at him and ready for him to leave for college? Or all of the above???)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Slightly OCD about the books...

So, I finally went to my Goodreads account and printed a copy of the books in my "to-read" list. Then I went to our public library and looked up all 200 titles in the card catalog to see what they had. Then I started checking books out, at random. I was just going through the list and finding anything that was in. There was no rhyme nor reason to my selection. I couldn't even remember what half of these were about- all I was armed with was a list of titles and authors.

However, within all random acts, there seems to be a pattern.

Here is what I checked out, all at one time:

  • A Reliable Wife

  • Gatsby's Girl

  • 22 Britannia Road

  • The Zookeeper's wife (this is the only non-fiction in the bunch)

  • Sunflowers

  • The Postmistress

  • The Bird Sisters

  • The Paris Wife
Now because I'm OCD, I see a pattern here, in the reading choices, and in the order in which I should read the works. The pattern didn't become completely clear to me until after I read Gatsby's Girl. Look at the list and see if you can pick it out yourself...

One type of book I like is when a historical figure's life is written in a fictional novel. And because I love The Great Gatsby (sometimes) and I love F. Scott ALL THE TIME, I had to read Gatsby's Girl, a fictional account of Scott's first love, his real love, that sustained him his entire life, with Ginerva King.

The Paris Wife is a fictional account of Hemingway (I don't care what critics say, Hemingway was hot, his writing is prolific and I would've totally been one of his groupies!) and his first love. Sunflowers is a novel about the alleged love/ friendship/ companionship/ relationship between a prostitute and VanGogh. These all fall into the same genre.

Britannia Road, The Bird Sisters, Zookeeper's Wife, and The Postmistress all take place in the same era: 1942-1947, pre, during, and post WWII and they all tie to that.

A Reliable Wife is the only one that doesn't belong to any related group as far as subject matter goes. It's historical, though, taking place in 1908.

Isn't it a weird coincidence that I would randomly gather novels that are all so related in some way? And the relationship gets worse-- you can see how deep my OCD really runs here, folks! (And I am not certifiably crazy- yet!) Now look at the titles themselves!

All of them except 2 allude to a female reference: wife, mistress, girl, sister. See, organizational patterns even in a random library book list!!!! I couldn't even remember what half of the books were about, so the fact that I could select some that were so closely tied to each other, just make me smile.

And because of such, I'm going to have to read these in a particular order. I already read Gatsby's Girl and The Reliable Wife. So of course, The Paris Wife is next, and then The Zookeeper's Wife- got to read all the wife title's together. Then The Bird Sisters- it's the only sister title and it's about WWII. That would lead right into The Postmistress, also the only mistress and also about WWII. That would be the last "woman" type of title but because it's about WWII, I can then read Britannia Road because the subject matter is the same, more WWII.

Had I figured it out sooner I could've started with Sunflowers and then done my "real people written as fiction" all in a row but now vanGogh is out of order because he's not about WWII nor does his book have a womanly moniker in the title. Poor vanGogh, I'm sure if he knew he was regulated to last in my reading order, he'd cut off his other ear at the injustice of it all!

Now you all have a peek into how OCD I really am. I'm going to claim lack of sleep, too much caffeine, not enough caffeine, or something like that to blame this on.

I'm really not so crazy...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not going makes me happy

In my old age I'm becoming more discriminating in what I read and in what I watch. I don't want to waste my time doing either if it's not something I'm not going to enjoy. I don't mean my books and movies all have to be "real" or full of happy endings but I need to enjoy the process.

So that being said I'm going to admit that I'm not going to see Captain America, and I'm glad about that. While ITSam and I haven't officially gotten back together, we have been hanging out and talking and stuff. He invited me to go see this movie with him. I hemmed and hawed around and finally said okay. We were supposed to go tomorrow.

I really had no desire to see it; I'm not a huge fan of comic books becomes a movie movies (yes, there are exceptions to this rule, such as The Dark Knight) so I wasn't excited about Captain America. Also, I like to go see movies where I know someone in the cast, especially a main character, and I had no idea who was playing the title role. I know that's lame, but it's true (there are exceptions to this rule; I do see movies with a no name cast, like the first Harry Potter movie...).

Maybe what it comes down to is that it held NO appeal for me. I mean, who IS Captain America? Why is he even a hero? Does he have some cool special power? How awesome can be be, really? I don't even remember him being a part of Super Friends!

So today Sam called and dropped a few million hints that his super geeky buddy was practically begging him to go see it. He called to see if I cared if Geeky buddy came along tomorrow. I saw my out and I went for it. I suggested a "guy's night" and said he and his bud should go without me. He said he felt bad that he asked me and didn't feel right about not keeping his word.

I finally came clean and said he should go because I just didn't want to see it. He was thrilled and jumped up and down and whooped and hollered. Glad it was so easy to make him so happy!

And I did my own little happy dance that I don't have to go suffer through it myself!

I'm not sure that honesty is always the best policy but it sure came in handy here! And now I have my entire Sunday free to do whatever I want... like laundry.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Gone country

There are so many parts to this story... I feel like I have to explain myself before I can explain myself.... clear as mud, eh?

In May I bought 2 tickets to see Gary Allan, a country music singer, who is ITSam's very favorite singer. I wanted to surprise him and was so excited to score these tickets. I kept my mouth shut and told no one about the tickets because one I told the secret I would tell him.

Then and I had a huge fight at the beginning of June, and I figured I'd offer to sell him the tickets. Then we slowly made up so it was a non-issue.

Then he broke up with me in July, about 2 weeks before the concert.

I'm not a fan of country music, over all. A very little of it goes a long way, in my opinion, so I wouldn't have just gone alone or with friends. And at the time of the break up, it wasn't really near the forefront of my mind.

A week after the break up I remembered the tickets. The same day I remembered the tickets, I had to have a serious conversation with ITSam about furniture and phones.

One conversation led to another, then to another, then to another. We certainly were NOT back together but lots of apologies were issued from him. That didn't fix it at all, but it was a start. We talked lots and I finally decided I would just take him to the concert.

I didn't know what to do and we were talking and I didn't want to lose the $80 bucks. I figured, if nothing else, that he would feel really guilty over everything, the way he treated me, etc., if I took him to a concert. It was a weird choice, I know, and it was spur of the moment, but I decided it. So be it.

Anyway, all that being said, I saw Gary Allan in concert a few weeks ago. (I also surprised Sam with the tickets and made him ride in the car 90 minutes, wearing a pink sleep mask the entire time, so he wouldn't see where we were going. People looked at us strangely as we were hauling down the highway at this strange bald guy wearing a pink sleep mask... some, tiny revenges are awesome!)

It was a great concert!!! He gives a good show. I was pretty impressed because he seems to be just a regular guy with a guitar, just singing his heart out. I really liked his show- no frills, no pyrotechnics, etc. Just a guy, singing. It was great.

And even though he's really country (and twangy) and he looks hot in his jeans, and doesn't wear a cowboy hat but would be sexy if he did, I still really liked the concert. (And it was a great chance for me to wear my pink cowboy boots here in the Midwest!)

Since then, I've been listening to his music quite a bit. This is really, REALLY out of the norm for me since I haven't listened to country music since I got back here from the Wild West. None of my car radio stations are pre-set to country and I think I might have about 50 country songs on my personal iTunes account--- that would be 50 out of the 1672 on my account. But I'm really digging Gary Allan!

Great songs by him are "Watchin' Airplanes", "Songs about Rain", "Best I've Ever Had", "No Regrets", "Her Man", "Right Where I need to Be", "We Fly By Night ", and Bourbon Borderline." "We Fly By Night" is my favorite of them all!

I strongly urge you to check out his music, his sound.

And it did make ITSam feel pretty crappy about how he treated me, that I had planned all this for him...

And it made me miss country music just a little bit.

Back in her boots,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review of The Adjustment Bureau

Did anyone see this movie?

I remember seeing the trailers for it, months ago, when it was debuting in the theaters. I remember thinking it looked very similar to the Bourne movies. I thought it had that zipping around, looking action, chase sort of thing. I didn't really read any reviews; I just remember it had Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, both of whom I like.

Well, I watched this movie a couple weeks ago and I was completely off-base at what I thought this was about. Was anyone else totally shocked? I sat there with my mouth open the whole time, with a "really?!?" thought in my head. I just was totally floored because it was completely NOT what I thought. It was so completely NOT what I thought and it went against the grain, the mold, that I just could grasp what I was seeing.

In the end, though, I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked it. But it still wasn't what I was thinking it would be. I kept waiting for Russians to shoot at him or the American Government to disavow him.

Now if you haven't watched this movie, you should totally check it out. Damon plays a guy who's really young and running for some federal government office but blows it. He meets this wild girl (played by Blunt) by chance and through this one encounter, the CONNECT. Then he doesn't see her for MONTHS, and then they have another chance encounter and again, 3 years goes by and they don't see each other.

But he wants it to happen even though fate seems to be keeping them apart. Until he realizes it's not fate, but a Bureau.... that might be run by God.

I'm not saying anything else, but there is Damon's character running from a G-Squad (no "g"oon but "G"od) with a girl and... well, trust me on this, it's cool. A bit sci-fi and a lot fantasy and you really need to NOT think Bourne identity because that's so NOT even a close assumption.

Suspend your belief in.... well, everything.

This was fun and good and a feel good movie and I'm not afraid to say I liked The Adjustment Bureau.

And you all probably know this already about this movie...

But it was still good,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hotter than....

I was going to say "hotter than hell" but after this Midwest heat, I'm beginning to think Hell more than a tad cooler.

It's hot. Miserable hot. It's been high in the upper 90s (and I'll swear it was over 100 the last two afternoons) and the humidity it matching those temps, number for number. It feels impossible to be cool.

There are places in Northern Civilization that have opened "Cooling Centers" for people to go to who don't have air conditioning. They have healthy snacks and lots of ice water and an air conditioned place for people to stay for the day. They've been giving out fans and air conditioners. It's really miserable. Pets and people dying... as well as vegetation. Ick.

I've been teaching a 2 hour photography workshop from 7:30-9:30am every morning this week. It's geared toward the 8-12 year old set. Here's how hot it is: yesterday, after an hour in the shady grasses of the morning, all the workshop attendees (who are 8-11 years old) begged to go to anywhere air conditioned. Kids wanting out of the heat. Yeah, that's hot......

I don't think my hair ever dried yesterday, it was so hot.

It's so much easier in the winter than the summer; I can add clothes and blankets until I'm warm. In the summer, I can't get cool enough and take enough clothing off and still be comfortable AND decent!

There was a flash thundershower storm around 8am on Monday morning. It was so hot that as the rain hit the pavement, it steamed. It was like the earth became a boiling kettle.

I actually started my car with the air on and let it run for 5 minutes while I waited in the house for it to cool, just like running the heater in the winter...

Hotter than Hell for sure. No doubt.

And I love the new hair cut with my bare, naked neck... but the humidity makes the Hair... interesting. And in this heat it doesn't matter how much I straighten it or how much product I use, it's possess by the humidity ghost.

And to think next week, the weatherman had the nerve to say a heat wave was moving in and we could see several days of triple digits.

I'm melting.......................


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mac Stories #2

When Mac was in the second grade he used the word plethora. Correctly. His teacher told me she had to look it up. (That worried me on a whole different level, by the way). He's always been such a smartie pants.

Around the time Mac was 5 or 6, we had Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house. My grandparents- the ultra conservative ones that I've referred to as The Shrews- were present. For some reason, in the middle of dinner- and I swear to this day my brother put Mac up to it- Mac started singing. My grandmother asked what he was singing and in a loud clear voice he repeated this much of the song "there's a skeeter on my peter, whack it off!" Silence followed. Then my brother and my Sam of the time were in hysterical tears, the grandparents were appalled and scolding me, my dad was trying to not crack up laughing because my mom would kill him, my mother and I were mortified, and Mac just kept on eating sweet potatoes, oblivious to it all.

When Mac was around 4 or 5 years old, my mother had beautiful African Violets that she raised. They were in pots in the house. If you aren't familiar with these flowers, I should let you know they are REALLY hard to grow. They're a finicky flowers, hard to nurture and fickle, too. She worked hard with these and seemed to have a knack for them. Now, Mac was raised to "know better" about things and he was also told the word "no" so he knew not to touch certain things, house plants being one. But for reasons unknown to this day, Mac didn't like the flowers. None of us knows why and of course he doesn't remember. He would purposely dump those flowers on the rug. He would up end the pots, splat on the carpet. My mom would get so pissed and threatened to even spank him but that didn't cure it. That child managed to toss 'em on the floor so many times that he killed them all. And she could never get African Violets to grow for her again, after that. Curious....

When Mac was three years old, my parents decided to plant a tree in the back yard. Mac decided to "help." He took his little shovel outside and watched Daddy-O and my brother dig a hole to put the tree in. They made a pile of dirt. Mac would take shovels full of the dirt and throw it back in the hole. Evey scoop they threw out, a half a scoop went back in. Finally my brother got him going int he right direction with it- dirt OUT of the hole. Then Mac eyeballed the hole and decided it was just his right size so he plopped his butt in it. He would move. The tree was big enough it took Daddy-O and Bro both to lift it, so they would set the tree down, take Mac out of the hole, set him down and pick up the tree. By the time the tree got picked up again, Mac was back in the hole. After 6 or 7 times of this, Mac got set inside of his tree swing until the tree was planted.

Mac's mom,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mac stories #1

When Mac was in kindergarten, I sent him to a Catholic school because it was the only one in the city that had all day Kindergarten (even though we were United Methodists). Mac was smart and board and needed to be occupied and encouraged.

I got a call from the principal one day, that I needed to come to the school immediately for a parent/ teacher conference. As in RIGHT NOW.

When I got to the school I found Mac, in his little uniform, sitting outside of the office, swinging his legs. He looked at me and smiled.

I went in the office and the principal said Mac had been doing something inappropriate on the playground at lunch. She called him in and then told me that he was teaching the other children how to play Blackjack during lunch recess. Then he would beat them and take their milk money. He had about $8 in coins in his pockets and stashed in his lunch box... with his deck of cards.

I know she wanted me to be appropriately chagrined, and I was. I had no idea what to say. he had been gambling at school! He was teaching other children to gamble! He was taking their money! She asked him what he had to say for himself. He said, "I don't cheat. And I don't know why you're made. Catholics play BINGO. Blackjack isn't that much different."

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, oh god!

She looked and me, all aghast and appalled, and said, "What you do have to say about that?" I said, "Well, he does have a point."

Mac's mom,

Friday, July 15, 2011

What I'm doing on my summer vacation

My vacation is going along nicely.... I've loved having all this time off. I think I could enjoy being retired, other than the fact you need money and place to live and stuff like that. I want to enjoy being retired, not be homeless. Well, whatever, I DO LOVE my vacation.

I've been quite the slug.

Well, sort of. I do like sleeping in. But I've read lots of books on my list and I like being able to just sit and sip ice tea and read to my heart's content. I've hung out with Curley, Daddy-O, Mac and Booknut. I've scrapbooked. I've cooked dinner. I went to a concert and done some shopping. I've gone out to eat. I've rummage saled. I've just basically done whatever I've wanted, which is awesome.

Today the plan is to run some errands, bake some banana bread this afternoon, and go to the county fair later this morning. Time permitting I want to see about getting Mac his own cell phone; this sharing thing is NOT working.

Next week, I'm teaching a photography workshop 2 hours a day, and next weekend is mine to weekend receptionist. I also still want to finish Fab Finn's baby quilt and see the new (and LAST) Harry Potter movie in IMAX-3 D (Mac and I have plans to do that, as well as have a decadent dessert at a chocolatier shoppe). I want to hang with Lilith, and also scrap book some more. This might also be "movie week" because I want to see Larry Crown and Monte Carlo, and I promised Mac I'd watch Cars 2 with him. I also am going to get some of Mac's college stuff together, shop for sheets and towels and dorm stuff.

I do love me some vacay!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day of Grace

I'm so glad we went back to see Mac's college- where he's going in the fall, that is.

He's been slightly crazy this summer and I wasn't sure why. So, I suggested we go back to the school and taking a tour, checking things out. I thought maybe if he saw it again, he might settle down. I thought one of two things would happen: 1) he would settle down and be ready to go to school; or, 2) he would NOT want to go there and we would have to come up with a plan B.

We got to the school and chatted with his admissions rep for about an hour. He filled out all the paperwork to get a roommate his choice of dorm. His rep actually picked up the phone and called housing and secured Mac a room in the dorm of his choice.

Mac and I then took a tour with his rep- again- and then he got to meet with the chair of history/ political science department, for about an hour. He came out of that meeting with... news. He had contacts for three separate jobs: at the library, at the museum, and in admissions. He also found out about an opportunity for overseas education. I'm not even gonna mess with all the maybes- the chair of the department told Mac if he could carry a GPA of 3.7 or higher and then he could spend his sophomore year at Oxford, as in England, to study, for a year. For the same price as a regular school year, or at even a less cost. OMG!!!

Let's just say the rest of the day was... a breeze. I don't think the kid's feet hit the ground. He loved his dorm, he loves the school. We went to the town, which is on a lake, and toured it and he loved it. He loved the water and all the artisan shops.

So, I guess it's obvious that he's thrilled to be going and is excited again. He'll have his roommate's name today, and his fall schedule by Friday.

Thank goodness for such a great day- because I was really worried about what the hell was going to be plan B!

Mac's Mom,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

1000?!? Oh wow...

I've been thinking of this post for about 2 weeks now. I have no idea what to write. I've blogged 1000 posts, as of today.

1000 posts. Here at this blog.

It's funny because of my last blog. When I had my last blog, my 1000th post was my last. I was moving back here from the Wild West and I reinvented my blogger self. And now I've reached that magical 1000 again. I think it's cool.

I've posted 1000 times, here at "shoes/ purses." I feel like I should have some words of wisdom or do a review of my blog or of my self, some huge assessment, pointing out things I've learned about me. It feels like a blogging version of New Year's Eve... and you all know I hate New Year's Eve.

I thought about going through my blog and linking some of my favorite stuff here. But a 1000 posts is a lot, and I wrote some great stuff, and some shit. I'd rather let you all surf my blog yourself, if you feel the need. Do you have a favorite post?

For a 1000 post, this is rather disjointed and rambling, like I have some expectation that I can't live up to, which is my own doing. I feel like I should have something astounding to say but I don't.

When Lilith and I were together last, I told her I've come up with a new blog. I think if I ever get a new job and I move out of Daddy-O's attic, I'll start a new blog and a new identity then. I like reinventing myself online, though essentially, no matter the title, the moniker, the colors, it's still always ME when I post. Anyone who knows me in person or has chatted with me via email or phone, knows that my true self is revealed in my writing.

So maybe that's the amazing part of 1000 posts. I'm willing to reveal something about me?

Actually, what I think it amazing is that ya'll read me, over and over. That amazes ME. And pleases me.

So thank you to my readers. Thank you to all of you who blog and give me something to read. Thank you to all the friends I've made because of blogging. thank you for always commenting and giving advise, for being kind and funny and silly and insightful. I think I have the nicest blog readers in all of blog-ville. You all are wonderful; thank you for being here for me, for indulging me. That's how I feel. That there's a great group of people who indulge me by letting me write and blather and you all give feed back. I feel so blessed that you tolerate me! Thank you so much!

And because I love you and appreciate you, I have a little present. Leave me a comment and I'll send you a little something. You don't have to be a follower or join. Actually, I really am thinking of my peeps who are here daily (or every few days) and who've been around for awhile. I have addresses for many of you already. Watch your mail.

Here's to 1000 posts, and here's to a 1000 more.

many thanks to you all & lots of pink lipstick-y kisses,

Maggie Mae O'Sullivan, blogger

Thursday, July 7, 2011

World's Best Haircut

I got the world's best hair cut this week.

I've struggled with my hair my entire life. I have a head of thick dark hair, with natural curl. It's very pretty but it has a mind of its own. I have a "cowlick" in two spots but when my hair is long, it's not noticeable but it sure makes those two spots style as it sees fit, not always what I want it to do.

I'm also hair lazy. I hate taking time to actually style my hair. I love it long when I can whip it into a pony tail and go, or blow is dry and go.

Since I had it all hacked off in December of 2008- when I went from hair all one length down to the center of my back to a a short Pixie- a'la- Audrey Hepburn cut, I've been trying to grow it long again. And it's been a disaster.

In June of 2009 I had the haircut from hell, which left me wearing hats and bandannas for 6-8 weeks (it was to the point where people actually thought I had cancer and had lost my hair through chemo, I wore so many scarves and hats! Yikes!). After that, I've basically just hunted for someone to give me a decent trim. I've been on such edge about my hair and freak out every time I sit in a stylist chair.

Around Christmas I went to a salon and got an "okay" haircut. I think, at the time, I thought it was really good because I looked terrible and she cleaned it all up. I think at that point, anyone bearing a weed whacker could've made my look good because I was SOOOO shaggy. (I made the Beatle's '64 moptop do's look like a high and tight!). I went back to her again and was satisfied.

Then a few months ago I went to Angie and she asked if we were still doing the same. I said yes and then she proceeded to tell me about her divorce settlement and the new house she's building. At the end of my haircut, where I've been growing it out for years, and have just been having her TRIM it each time... she gave me layers. OH MY GODDESS!!!!!!!! LAYERS! That biotch gave me layers!


I vowed I was never going back to Angie. (He excuse, by the way, is that she 'forgot' what we were doing and had me confused with someone else. Ummmmm, yeah.)

My sister-in-law always gets a cut a haircut from her cousin. I always think this cousin has super beautiful hair cuts herself. I'd thought of going to CousinCutter myself but I was afraid if I got a bad cut it would be bad blood at family events, or at least just awkward. This time, I said screw it and went.

I have the best haircut I've had since December 2006.

It's amazing and the style is PERFECT!!!! I love it! It's a "long-ish short" blob. I had these shaggy layers and bangs past my nose and a long clump/ glob of hair on the back of my neck and various layers in the sides and she gave me this sleek, vintage but stylish, 1920s sleek bob.

I LOVE it!!!!

When I got home Mac went on and on about how awesome it was. He said I looked like the badass Russian chick who kicks ass in all the badass, asskicking Russian movies.

Then he found a picture on the 'net and said my hair is amazing and looks just like this:

He's not saying I look like her in the face or body (though I really WISH!) but that my hair is identical to this. and you know what? He's right. I have C. Zeta-Jones's exact haircut from Chicago. I do. It's very chic.

I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!! Best hair cut- EVER! I love this woman who cut it- she's amazing. And she's all mine!!!!!!

She with a happy head,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacay- day 1... at least officially

Today starts my first official day of summer vacation. I count today as day 1 because I had to work on Saturday doing my weekend receptionist thing. Then I'm always off on Sundays (at least from school I am) and yesterday was a holiday so today starts the official Summer Vacation from school.

Wow. Daddy-O and I were talking and trying to figure out when I was actually on vacation- not working any of my jobs- since I moved back here in 2008. Other than being sick, we came up with not. I haven't been on vacation in about 3 years.

I'm excited to be off work but I also feel guilty. I feel like I should work all the time, that I don't deserve time off because I make such a piddly little salary and feel like I should be doing all I can to make money.

Also, I'm not going on a vacation at all. I'm just "vacating" myself from where I work. I wish I had money to go away for the next 17 days but I don't. I'll be chilling here at home and hoping that Mac doesn't drive me nuts (he's going through a clingy phase) and that I don't drive Daddy-O insane.

I'm really on vacation from school until August 1st. I have one weekend where I have to work my weekend receptionist gig. My principal also said I could work a day in July so I could have a day off in August to take Mac to college- then I don't have to take it as a personal day (or use comp. time/ sick day/ day without pay/ etc) so I will be working 1 day at the library in the entire month, and 2 days as receptionist and that's it. I have it all off. Wow.

My big plans are to read a huge pile of books, hang with friends & family (Curley, Lilith, Photographer, Daddy-O, Bookut, Mac), work on a couple of quilt projects (and hopefully finish them!), see a bunch of movies, drink a lot of wine (which could lead to some drunk blogging...), and just hang out.

Today's big project will be to get my hair cut, and go to the library. And then drink a lot of wine. I have goals.

So here's to you, here's to me, here's to vacay- may it be blessedly wonderful, peaceful, blissful.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Takin' it easy

Today's the 4th of July. I feel pretty much at loose ends, but I don't think it's in a bad way. I was supposed to go to a BIG party today with ITSam and obviously that's not going to happen (though he actually called and invited me... weird.)

I don't have plans to have a big picnic or barbecue or go to the lake. I wasn't invited anywhere else. I couldn't even tell you if our town is doing their fireworks display tonight or what... How lame am I?

I did, however, lay out some chicken for dinner so if the temperature doesn't soar, then I might be able to convince Daddy-O to grill it; if all else fails, I'm gonna bake it. I also have a pile of books to read and so far this month I've finished 2 novels- go me!

It's nice to not have to just "go go go" or have huge plans foisted upon me. Though I wish I was going somewhere with a big spread of food....!

What is everyone doing? What ever it is, I hope it's safe, and fun!

Happy 4th to you all!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A bright, bright, sunshiny day

I haven't been taking pictures for awhile. I don't know why; I guess I haven't been in the mood. But I was sitting on a picnic table earlier this week, after work and I was reading and waiting for a ride home, and this is what was right above me. I couldn't resist a couple of snaps...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Not an exciting day

I know it's late on Saturday and I don't have much to say but I don't want to NOT blog because I don't want to be depressed.

So, I worked all day as a weekend receptionist. Now I'm home and Mac and his friends are playing PS3 games. Ohhhhh, so exciting.

Because of the break up I can't surf at work because he can see all the places I go and report me, if he wants. Or at least me nosy in my business. The other thing that irritates me is that when I was his girlfriend he let me have on-line privileges and as soon as he dumped me, he made my privileges like everyone else so my surfing is really limited! The asshole.

He came in to see me. He stopped to say "hi" and told me he went to Best Buy with a friend. Whoopee. I said I was busy and he left. That was that. Weird. Glad it wasn't a big deal, but it was still weird.

It was really hot here today, around 100 degrees.

So, that's my Saturday in a nutshell.

I'm lame.


Friday, July 1, 2011

A little lonely

This might sound dumb because of how horrible ITSam was/ is, but I sort of "miss" him.

It's odd to try to get out of a routine with a person. I saw him every day, talked to him on the phone, or text him and now nothing. It's odd. I do have good memories with him and had good times. And now I'm just cut off completely. (and rightly so, of course). It's hard to adjust to. I have things that happen during the day and want to shoot him an email or pick up the phone and say something funny. I miss that.

I know it's only been three (and a half) days and I won't do anything stupid but I can still miss him. He hasn't contacted me, which is a good thing, I know, so I guess he's not missing me, which is fine.

When things were really good, they were really good. I did have fun with him, when he was being nice. He was kind to me, most of the time, and it's the good parts that I miss.

I do feel lonely. I wish it was different. I wish he understood I love my friends but I could love him too. I wish he wasn't a controlling freak. I wish he went back on his medicine and saw his therapist. I wish he knew that I could have it all and he and I could've been amazing. I wish he knew that he had the makings to be a great guy and a wonderful husband.

But.... alas, no.

I still miss the good parts.