Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Damn, Jack Frost!

Holy Freakin' Snow Storm, Batman!!!!

Yesterday morning when I got up it was pouring down rain, cats and dogs type of rain. It was outrageous and just buckets falling. It was about 45 degrees outside. The weather was really for shit. It was still raining at noon.

Around 1pm several of us were in the hallway during passing period and it had turned to snow. We were all laughing that it would never stick because it was so warm that morning and just too wet to stick.

Boy, were we wrong. The following pictures all happened between 4-5pm.

These three were taken on the way home, out the windshield of the car.

These are pictures I took on campus before I drove home:

And these are of my backyard:

Wind was gusting around 30 mph. Everything in the county was cancelled or closed early. We're supposed to have about 8 inches by this morning. (I have no idea how much there is because we have a 2 hour snow delay and this will post before I get out of bed!) It snowed and snowed and snowed, allegedly all night. I can usually drive home in about 15 minutes (10 minutes if I don't hit all the lights red.). Yesterday it took me about 45 minutes. Plows had not run; it involved me being on county, state and city roads- not one single plow at all. Ugh! Traffic was at a stand still. One road in town is a steep hill and the police cars were all over the place directing cars away from it as those of us at the bottom of the hill watched cars slide down it backwards. I was really happy that I left the house in my rubber muck boots because of the rain this morning because I was ankle deep in slush this afternoon. Not kidding- ankle deep! Can we say mess?????

Winter arrived here in Civilization with a vengeance. Wonder how long it will stay?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Christmas cards

For art club this week- on Wednesday, the kids and I are going to make Christmas cards. Here are three samples. I was inspired by Achiever's, with all their make and take freebies, and their card workshops. So I came up with these three ideas and we made these examples.

Then last night I cut all the paper to the correct size after shopping for all the supplies. Daddy-O cut out the shiny trees, the snow flakes and the J-O-Y letters on his Cricut. Then on Wednesday night the kids will rotate in stations and make these cards.

I'm pretty proud of it how they came out! I hope the kids' are as happy with theirs as I am mine- I'll show their pix, too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The not so novel navel

The word belly button is even gross. I don't like the actual body part, nor it's name. If I have to refer to it as all, I call it a navel. Though the word 'navel' is awkward to me as well. Navel makes me think of the military, like a navel base, but it also conjures up images of giant bell buttons walking around in uniforms. I know. I can barely bring myself to eat a navel orange.

I understand why we humans have belly buttons but I'm just not a fan. You know how some people are totally anti- feet? Repulsed by feet? Freaked out by feet? Well, I'm that way about navels. Innies and outies are equally repulsive to me.

Navels on skinny people are even icky. I know some folks think a guy with six pack abs has a sexy bellybutton but I am not one of those. I like the abs and the way a guy's hip bones are cut, but I don't like the belly button.

In a movie if a guy or girl licks another person's navel I get all creeped out! Or licks a shots or eats a cherry or whatever.... just.... ewwwww!

I also think innies are gross. Since I've gained weight I don't even look at my own belly button. I just make sure I wash and rinse it well. But here's a semi- gross story! (I'm obviously desperate for blog fodder if I'm telling this story) My navel hurt the other day. Actually was in pain so I itched the inside of my navel and my finger came away with pus and blood. Oh yeah. I had a pimple in my navel. GROSS!! And I was completely freaked out. I wanted to run and flee but like a shadow, the belly button would be coming with me. So I cleaned it well, with peroxide watching it bubble, and with alcohol (OMG PAIN!). Then a few days later it itched again. After an internal struggle of to itch or not to itch, I finally caved to the comparable to water torture and itched it! And... more repulsion- a scab the size of a small stone fell out. More alcohol and more bubbling with peroxide. More wanting to flee from my own body. And I've never gone back.

But my navel zit is not as disgusting as ITSam's belly button was (maybe it still is... I'm going to write about him in the first person since he's not dead, that I know of. I'll treat him like literature). His belly button is huge- you could practically stick your whole fist in it!!! And he's really hairy, so it's just beyond gross. He has globs of lint in there, every day. All the hair catches his shirt fuzz- it's like a lint trap in the dryer, and it gathers huge clumps. Revolting.He showers and washes but it just gets all... lint-y.

I have no idea why, but I was thinking about a day he and I were watching television and he was messing with his navel cave- I don't know why. He plucked the lint and then was turning his navel inside-out and he asked me to look at it. He said he could see a spot and wanted to know if his belly button was bruised or if there was a freckle in it. Seriously?!? But I looked. I said I would look but wouldn't touch it. And it was black. HIS BELLY BUTTON WAS BLACK ON THE INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!! I was slightly freaked out. So, I took his keys from the table and poked and scraped the black gunk from the creases and it CAME OFF!! OMG!!! the deep, dark creases of his navel had mold in it!!!! I threw up in the back of my mouth a little bit, and then went home.

(In all fairness, it wasn't mold. It was just wet lint from a dark colored shirt, post shower)

But his belly button smells. It smells so gross I can't even come up with a description- 4 week old sweat socks and molding cheese? Maybe it smells like the color brown. Ya know? Yuck.

He's a very, very clean guy, obsessively showering and never wearing dirty clothes. He has (had?) good hygiene. But the whole navel thing had me freaked out as if I wasn't revolted by navels before, but then to add his?

The human body is necessary but it's really pretty gross.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video game review by guest blogger, Mac& his mommy's commentary

Well, this is a first on "shoes/ purses": the first ever video game review. I asked Mac for a blog idea- I was just being silly and he starts spouting this so I wrote it all down. I was going to aim for something about bellybutton lint so I guess this is about as interesting. I know I haven't played the game but Mac has- obviously waaaaaaay too many hours: 62 hours , 28 minutes and 55 seconds. Uh, yeah. I've watched him play the game for about 15 of those minutes and I can say:
1) it has an epic sound track
2) it's very violent
3) there's sex in it [not porn style but seriously, sex in this game!!!]
4) the time period is cool, like the era of Knights
5) and, you can kill giant spiders in a swamp.

Without further ado, here's Mac's review:

The video game Elder Scrolls V: Sky Rim is absolutely amazing. The game starts as every Elder Scroll games starts: you're a nameless, raceless prisoner. After a dragon invasion allows your character an opportune time to escape, you go through the tutorial and make a character. After a very exciting and practically cinematic tutorial that shows the different styles of combat like sneak attack, blades, and magic, you quickly escape the dragon and are left in the open world of Sky Rim.

Like the previous game, Oblivion, the main focus of Sky Rim is exploration. As you explore the various towns and dungeons, one quickly realizes that every town and dungeon are different and have completely different feels to them. One dungeon might have you fighting through booby traps of ancient dwarfs and another might have you fighting a bunch of blood thirsty bandits. There are plenty of quests to do almost everywhere. Towns serve as huge social hubs to pick up quests and gear. In doing quests and exploring, the game play and its mechanics are quickly revealed. Simply put, how one plays the game determines how the character levels up. If you run around blasting people with fire balls, your magic ability will level up. However, if you prefer a more close combat, and use melee weapons to combat skills. There are also various abilities like alchemy to make potions, smithing to make weapons, pick pocketing to increase your chances of thieving, and many more.

After going through ten straight hours, I've only scratched the surface. The next 20 hours I delved in more to the mechanics of the game and figured out a lot of things. but there's always still more to do. After playing the game for a total of 50 hours I still have many more things to accomplish, as well as over half of my skills to level up. Sky Rim is an amazing RPG and will attract anyone who loves the open world, western-style RPG.

~Mac, Maggie's son

I'm really impressed with the laying of the story here. As a reader and a lover of movies, the "deepness" of the video game stories are pretty impressive. There's actually some character development, too. I can see how the argument could be made that a video game is alike a book come to life, to a certain extent.

I know lots of people are pro and con video games and I understand a respect both sides. I have to say this is just one impressive game. The graphics and story are very impressive, regardless of my over all opinion of video games.

Changin' it up a bit,
Maggie (and Mac)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I don't want to be as outrageous as Lady Gaga but...

I want an Elf costume. Not a slutty one but a fun one, with red and white striped tights and the curly shoes with bells on the toes. I don't know why but I do. I think it would be fun to wear to work once in awhile. Or to go out shopping.

Occasionally I get this weird urge to dress funny. I always liked teaching because I would dress in costume to introduce different type of literature: as a flapper for Gatsby, in a toga for Julius Caesar, and once like a pirate when we did a short version of Moby Dick.

When I taught college I would sometimes wear wigs. At first I did it because I would over sleep from too much drinking the night before and would have bed head but not time to shower so a quick sink bath and a wig and off I would go. I had a red one, a blonde one and a black bob. It would flip my students out at first and then they just sort of became accustom. Now, I can't do this at the high school level because it's considered a "distraction" to the learning process. Yeah, right, whatever.

I like to put together an outfit that would be outrageous but because I live back in my small town I feel like I shouldn't be "too outrageous" because my dad has to deal with the gossip, whereas I could care less. A plaid skirt and combat boots and a wig would be awesome, in my opinion. I want to pierce my nose (Daddy-O said I would be kicked out and could NOT stay here if I did that. But I would like to point out that my dear late mother told HIM if he pierced his ear she'd divorce him. He pierced and they stayed married. Though he did spend a night or two on the couch.) and dye a streak of pink in my air. I have a Holly Golightly outfit, of sorts that I want to wear around town. Sometimes I dress like a Junior Leaguer or a Republican and wear trousers with a matching sweater set and a string of pearls.

When I moved to the Wild West I wore a tiara as I drove across North Dakota and my Native American name was "She who drives with tiara". Daddy-O named me. I forgot I had it on and wondered by people kept looking at me funny when I would get out of the car to site see or pump fuel.

I'm sure there's some sort of psychological reasoning behind all this, but I don't really care. I just like to look a little different, to try on a different look. I don't think it changes who I am, when it happens, but I like to "feel" different. I don't act so much on it now, but I wish I could. Changing my look is "my look."

And today I'm really rather hum-drum in my jeans and a red peasant blouse, and loafers. A nice diamond nose stud would really set this outfit off...

Who's that girl,

Friday, November 25, 2011

I prefer a PINK Friday, thank you very much!

As I said earlier this week: I am NOT Black Friday shopping today. I don't want to participant in the rampant commercialism and embark on a capitalistic materialistic journey to Christmas. I hate crowds and I'm broke, too.

I'm going to make today a PINK Friday. I'm going to wear pink, drink something pink, and eat something pink. I'm going to lay around the house and be lazy. My biggest adventure might be to go to the Diary Queen for a Pink Blizzard and drive thru the cemetery to see if my cousin's headstone as been laid (Um, this isn't as morbid as it sounds.) I might read, or craft. I might watch all the DVRed tv I've stored up, which includes about 4 episodes of Prime Suspect (I love Maria Bello but I hate that stupid hat) and 3 of Once Upon a Time (which was also my idea for a TV show). I might write. I just plan on enjoying the day. I might cook a little something... who knows?

I even have a bag of Cherry Cordial Hershey kisses which come in pink wrappers. I am soooo ready. I'm gonna sleep in and wear pink jammies.

But I plan for it to be relaxing and fun. And relaxing and fun can be pink.

I say "Down with Black Friday" and brighten up the day with YOUR favorite color!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Food is the point, right?

Thanksgiving is all about food. Look yeah, we all know about Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock and Squanto and Maze and shit, but really, it's about food and family (and football). But mostly food.

I was fixin' dinner last might and Daddy-O and I were talking about food. Food and "dishes". I mean the glassware sort, not a synonym for meal.

We have a yellow dish with a pattern that looks like cross stitch on it which my Grandma F ALWAYS made corn casserole in. We have a ceramic plate shaped like an apple that my mom always made Waldorf Salad in. We have a crystal pedestal cake plate that the famous sour cream coffee cake is served upon. The food is associated with dishes.

There's a matching blue basket weave stoneware piece that my Grandma F always served applesauce with cinnamon on the top. I was thinking we needed to get out the solid white soup tureen because my same Grandma F served hot, spiced apple cider in it, topped with floating cinnamon sticks.

We have a pink Depression glass candy dish that always held butterscotches in it when my dad was a kid and HE went to HIS grandma's.

I commented that I wanted to make Grandma F's banana pudding and Daddy-O said she used a nut grinder and covered the top with freshly ground peanuts, and she didn't mess it up with Nilla wafers- just yummy from scratch pudding with pieces of banana- the trick was green bananas so they weren't brown or mushy when the pudding was stirred. Daddy-O said that was his Uncle's favorite dish that his mother made- and yes, we have a special bowl for the banana pudding.

Did I mention she also "made" a kick ass ham loaf? Yeah, she cheated and bought it pre-made from the butcher BUT she did make her own pineapple topping to pour of the top! Delish!

I realize these memories are connected with family on the F side of the family but they're the one's who left these pieces to Daddy-O or to me (I didn't get anything like that when the other grandmother died). So many of my memories are all tied up like that: with food and dishes and the moments. It seems silly but they are.

For example, if we get out the tureen for hot cider then I have to get pimento cheese spread and wheat crackers because Grandma F always had those together. It is what it is.

It think this was memory food week, actually. I made an escalloped chicken casserole that was my Great Aunt Zen's recipe and my Grandma F made it and I managed to NAIL it just like hers! Oh yeah! Then last night I made canned chicken and dumplings and grilled peanutbutter sandwiches. Now my Daddy-O made us that as a meal when we were kids and my mom had to work late. That didn't happen often but when it did, that was one of his famous staples.

Today is Thanksgiving and I give thanks for my family and friends and food. And today we're going somewhere new for Thanksgiving. We've not nailed down a new Turkey Day tradition since my mom died so I look forward to the annual adventure to see what happens- will I cook, will we go to relatives, will I have a man friend with whom I will celebrate, etc. And this year we're going to a cousin's house down in the Southern part of the state and there's gonna be about 30 people. I'm bringing pies. I don't know if there'll be any traditional foods or not. But there will be food and family.

For which I'm exceptionally thankful for both.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Maggie Mae

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gimme a classroom, anywhere

I've missed teaching and I decided I'm not good at in between. What I mean by this is that if I'm going to work in a school I need to be a teacher, in my own classroom. Working in the library is AWESOME and I love it, but I love teaching more. Working the school library is like being a diabetic in charge of a bakery.

I had to laugh because a good friend of mine spent a day at a conference and one of the workshops she went to was all about teaching literature. As I listened to all the cool ideas she learned, I thought,"Ive done that" or "I do that" or "Hmmm, I've always done it that way." And the one workshop she attended that I could most relate to was taught by a 35 year veteran teacher who's been in AP classes since the beginning. And I did all the same things she did. SHE gets to be a conference leader and lauded for her awesome ideas and I can't set foot in a classroom because I don't have the right, damn license, which is so NOT fair. (And as we all know that I know, life isn't fair but it still sucks.)

So I've been looking around for teaching jobs again wondering where I can go. And I found a very credible source and company that puts Americans, Brits and Aussies in international schools to teach English. And I found that I qualify to work for this organization. And I learned of several openings, the one I am most interested in is located in Kenya. Yes, as in Africa. And no I don't care about heat or lack of air conditioning or bugs.

This is an amazing opportunity. This is chance to teach as well as have an adventure. This is what I always wanted- to save the world and this might be my way to finally do it. This is a way to give back. It's a way to be in a classroom. It's a way to help others, to share the love of language and words and books. It's a way to deal with some of my political ideology and thoughts on American Greed Mentality (uhhh, I'm gonna try to NOT get on a 1% soap box). This is something I want to do.

It does pay. It does provide health insurance.

I applied. Now I wait. Who knows- it might or mightn't happen but either way I had the guts to toss my name in the ring and we'll see what happens.

This time next year I might be blogging from Africa. Hmmmm, I might have to come up with a new blog name...


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I give thanks for 4 days out of school

I'm pretty psyched about Thanksgiving because I don't have to cook. I don't mind cooking a big meal for a lot of people. It doesn't stress me out.

I remember whenever my mom was going to cook she would freak out because my evil grandmother would drive her nuts. She freaked about the food and the cleanliness of the house. And about how us kids were dressed. And and and---- the list goes on.

Now, me, I don't care. I can cook for a big group and what happens happens. I burn a turkey, then we eat all the other stuff. The spaghetti sticks, add more sauce. Something turns out gross, order a pizza. It doesn't throw me for a loop.

This year I'm happy because I am lazy. I don't feel like cooking one more friggin' meal, and I don't feel like cleaning up. I'm more than content to make the 3 hour drive to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving lunch and then drive back. I wish I knew someone here who invited me for supper that was having Thanksgiving meal, around 6:30pm, because I'd be home in time and go eat there, too.

I'm declaring it MY break. I don't have to work at all. Not any of my part time jobs. NONE of them! Can you believe it?!? I traded with a guy so he could be home with his grandbabies on Christmas eve and he's working my Thanksgiving- win/ win for us all! (This year my Bro works on Xmas Eve so I sure don't mind working for a guy so he can see his grandkids!).

I'm also NOT going shopping on Black Friday. I toyed with the idea and then last night I had to visit 2 grocery stores and I think the entire population of my whole county was split between those 2 places and that cured my Black Friday idea. Not a bloomin' chance! I think people who go out on that day are crazy. Brave but just slightly crazy. It's like a version of sky diving or something, and I am not willing to take my life into my own hands for a $25 discount on a shirt. (Maybe on shoes......)

I'm gonna read. Maybe see a few movies. Maybe drink Starbucks. I'm gonna sleep in. I might make some cards. Who knows?

I just know that I am NOT making Thanksgiving Dinner and I am NOT Black Friday shopping.

And you can't make me!

Maggie Mae

Monday, November 21, 2011

And now we return to your regularly scheduled program

ITSam and I broke up, he quit his job and he moved to the state capital.

Mac quit school and is back at home, looking for a new job and a new school.

I'm going crazy.

I need to tell you about bellybuttons, a couple of road trips, some excellent homemade hard cider, cherry cordial Kisses, work, a winter Prom, and quite possibly an upcoming journey to Nairobi, Kenya.

Otherwise, it's been pretty quiet here.

How are things with you?

Baby, I'm back!