Thursday, March 31, 2011
My blog is five years old this month.
I love blogging. In reality, I can honestly say it doesn't ever feel like a chore. I feel bad when I'm running behind and post late or don't have time to post, but it doesn't feel like something I have to do or that's tedious. I like blogging, which is probably why I've kept at it.
I have to say that I've wanted to write a book so this is a nice way to get "published" or to at least have an audience. Thank you readers for being my audience.
I realize that I might not always be that fun and interesting. Thank you readers for reading me even when I'm boring.
It's been an interesting evolution over the last five years. I feel that the last few years since I've moved back to Civilization I've been less interesting. Maybe I haven't been interesting ever, but as I examine myself, my life, and re-read some of my old posts, I feel like I was more interesting 'back in the day.' Thank you readers for continuing to read me even though I'm not as exciting as I used to be.
My writing style has evolved, too. Maybe maturing? I have no idea what causes a change in writing styles. I think I'm not always as funny as I used to be. But it could be a catch 22 situation. Maybe I'm not as funny because not as many funny things happen to me because my life isn't as exciting? Who knows? Maybe I'm a bit more private? Maybe I've lost my sense of humor? Thank you readers for indulging me in my less funny, moments and during my evolution in tone.
This has been not only a cathartic outlet for me, but a place to explore my own writing, my own thoughts, to try different stuff with words, to be silly, to be serious. Thank you readers for allowing me this opportunity to be self experimental.
Lastly, this is a fabulous way to meet some great people. I've met some of you in person, some I just email or talk to on the phone, some I read your blogs, and others I just enjoy getting to know you from your comments here. Thank you all for allowing me into your lives, for becoming blogger buddies, for becoming friends.
So, happy blog-iversary to me. But thanks to all of you for giving me these five years! Here's to many more! Cheers!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
And about six weeks ago one of our teachers got punched in the face. She's a little bit of a thing and she was trying to break up a fight between two big guys and she got socked in the face. It was an accident and could've happened to anyone in that situation. She got hit hard enough to be taken to the ER and got stitches. No concussion, no need for facial reconstruction surgery, just a really good black eye and some stitches- 5 of them. She missed school for about 3 weeks.
According to her story at the time, it was an accident. The boys in the fight said it was as did ALL of the students in that classroom.
But it's turned into a bog damn, drama.
If I was in the situation and was stupid enough to step between to big teens boys who were set to pound each other, then I would understand it was an accident and be back at school in a day or two.
I would not show weakness and miss three weeks.
These boys did not go after her with the intent to hurt her. Actually, when questioned later the boys didn't even know she was hurt.
The boys are expelled from our school. They are now doing on line learning. One kid was sent to boys' prison school. The other one is still at our facility awaiting a decision from his county.
We are all trained to handle these situations. But every single person in the trainings are told if we- the staff- know we can't stop the fight, are out numbered or if the kids are bigger, then wait for help. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, those are the rules of thumb. She weighs in at about 90 pounds and there were two of them and one of her. She just got caught in the middle of the foray.
I feel like this was made into a HUGE ordeal. It could happen to any teacher at any school in the world. Kids fight. Adults who try and break it up can get hurt. It is what it is. It doesn't make it worse because it was at our facility.
I hate the drama created by this.
I've taught in three "regular" public schools and I feel safer at Alcatraz than I did at any of the others. We have two "emergency response teams" if we have a problem. One can be there in less than 30 seconds. No public high school I know has this. I remember when I was at a middle school last year and a kid was screaming and swearing in the hallway and all the teachers locked doors and called administration for help, it was about 5 minutes because our principal was in the high school NEXT DOOR at a meeting.
More than likely our kids won't come to school armed unlike regular high schools where kids can carry in a fire arm in a back pack. Columbine mean anything to anyone?
We are trained through a nationally recognized program which trains people to handle crisis in a therapy setting. Not only are we trained with this 5 days program, we are kept updated on this training 3-4 times a year. Any other public high school teachers get this?
Sometimes I think adults can't see the forest for the trees.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Also, I thought, once I got on a roll, I'd do more than one dish. So here are my efforts and the recipes! Enjoy!
Ever since my mom died, my family and I have been trying to re-create some of her dishes, often to no avail. I don't think I'll ever get her potato soup right. Ever. However, I've never, in my life made chili, so I think I was channeling my mom, because I nailed her soup. Daddy-O and I brainstormed about what was in it and we got the ingredients. We had no idea of how much of anything so it was a guess, and a good one at that. And for the first time making chili, I was pretty happy- it was a nice memory, a good taste, and a warm yummy dish for a cold, winter day! So, here's the recipe for my mom's chili. (I also want to say, I don't really like chili very much, but this really appeals to me!!!)
With the chili we had crackers, cheese and corn bread muffins, from scratch!
1 large can of tomato soup
1 can of dark kidney beans with the juice
1 can of light kidney beans drained
24 ounces of tomato juice
1 can of black beans, drained
1 pound of hamburger, browned and drained. I cooked a small very well diced onion with the hamburger.
2 teaspoons of mild chili pepper
2 tablespoons of salt
3 dashes of pepper
Put everything into a stock pot and cook on very low heat, covered, for 60 minutes. Cook another 2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Fried Green Beans
2 cans of cut green beans, drained
Italian Bread crumbs
Heat olive oil in pan until hot. Combine bread crumbs and cheese together in a shallow pan. Dip green beans in milk. Roll beans in bread crumb/ cheese mixture. Brush off excess. Put in hot oil for 4 minutes. Scoop out of pan with slotted spoon and lay on paper towel. Salt while still hot. Serve while very warm.
Everyone really liked these and requested I make them again. They were pretty good. So good they were gone before I got a picture! (tonight I also made lemon pepper cod and salmon, and roasted new red garlic potatoes to go with the beans!)
Oven Ranch Chicken
It's really saying something about how much I love this recipe because it's a school cafeteria recipe. Yes, you read this right: this chicken is SCHOOL FOOD!!!! I asked the woman in the cafeteria and she shared. I gave it a whirl at home and while mine was good, I think the school's is better. I think this is so because I used dark and white meat chicken, with bone in. At school, they always make it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts on 'Wellness Wednesdays'. I think that had something to do with making it crispier. Not the wellness part but being white meat and boneless part.
Again, this was a popular dish and everyone voted I fix it again! (We had Julianne cheese potatoes and mixed veggies with the chicken.)
Oven Ranch Chicken
6-8 chicken breasts (though I made it with bone in chicken, it is best with boneless!)
16 oz sour cream
1 pkg dry ranch dressing ( mix with crumbs)
cracker crumbs or Italian bread crumbs (which ever you prefer)
Take thawed chicken and rub/coat with sour cream and then dip them into the cracker mix. Drizzle melted butter over the top and bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Bake uncovered the last 10-15 minutes to crisp up the chicken.
Monday, March 28, 2011
A few months ago I decided I wanted to be licensed to be a foster parent so when Princess was released in May she could be sent to live with me. I knew there were about 3494570431 things that could go wrong and stop the process but since it was a long shot it was worth taking.
I talked it over with her case -manager, who thought it was a good idea.
I talked it over with ITSam. He and I have talked about getting married so this was something that would certainly affect him as well. He was all for the idea.
I talked it over with Mac who was all for the idea as well.
I talked it over with Daddy-O who thought I was crazy and as long I wasn't going to foster her here at his house he was supportive.
Though all involved decided it would be a good idea to not tell Princess, she figured it out. She was VERY in favor of this idea.
I did some research online and talked to tons of foster parents and decided this is something I wanted to do.
I met with the people in the foster division of Alcatraz. I wanted to ask some basic questions. That meeting was extremely positive and I was given the huge green light with this idea. I got a stack of paperwork and signed up for classes. I was told that since we needed to meet a deadline of may 26, I could take classes as they were offered through them and then to get what else I needed Alcatraz would do individual one-on-one training to finish it up. COOL!
That took care of the issue of timing.
ITSam has to be licensed as well so he signed up too.
To be licensed together we had to be married by the time we got her. Okay, we decided that wouldn't be a problem and sort of loosely planned a small wedding that would take place at the end of April. Okay- check.
We knew we would need at least a 3 bedroom house or apartment. A guy at work said he had 4 bedroom house he would let us rent with a huge discount because we were going to be foster parents and he thought that was admirable. It was in the school district we wanted and we could move in mid- April. AND the guy who makes sure houses are foster care approved had been there said it was and doing the home study would be fine. Check!
Everything was falling into place until a few weeks ago when Princess's case manager call me to her office. She dropped the bomb that probation department in Princess's home county (her PO there) wants her in a placement in her own county so though they won't be reunified as a family, they can still have twice weekly meetings. Her PO wants her in an independent living situation or foster care there.
Yes, she should continue to foster a positive relationship with her mother and sisters. Yes, she should stay connected to her family. It sucks for me, for us, for Princess who so wanted to be with me.
Okay so she and I put on happy faces and think positive thoughts and focus on the good stuff about being there.
Then Friday night Princess drops the bomb. She was shell-shocked herself. he stupid case-manager casually mentioned that recently the PO sent an email that said after consideration maybe Princess should remain in this county so she could graduate from Alcatraz since she's academically successful and she could be placed in a foster home here.
Of course the witch of a case-manager said nothing to me about this and won't give Princess any other information.
I just can't believe this............. And I can't manage to write more here without coming unglued. I can't even talk about it without having a fit. I'm so mad, angry, furious, hurt, shattered, frustrated, ugh!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Who has done something today to show they care about you?
No one because I haven't been awake long enough to interact with another human
Do you have a lot to learn?
Yes. I believe everyone has a lot to learn.
If you could learn how to do three things just by wishing and not by working what would they be?
Pick stocks to make piles of glorious money, fix computers, and learn a foreign language
Which do you remember the longest: what other people say, what other people do or how other people make you feel?
I think what people say and how it made me feel.
What are the key ingredients to having a good relationship?
Communication, the ability to laugh, and trust
What 3 things do you want to do before you die?
Travel the world
What three things would you want to die to avoid doing?
Other than be tortured I can't think of anything I would want to die before I had to do it. I had a root canal and lived so that takes care of one thing. maybe go to prison? Die before I did that?
Is there a cause you believe in more than any other cause?
I'm not sure of funding libraries and arts is a cause but if it is, that's the one for me
What does each decade make you think of:
Depending how far back you want me to go... 20s- gangsters and cute flapper dresses, 40s- Billie Holiday and WWII; 50s= The Leave it to Beaver Life style; 60s= hippies; 70s= my yellow bike with the black banana seat and ugly clothes; 80s= Back to the Future, my teens years and way too much blue eye shadow which was not totally narley dude; 90s- college and becoming a mom...
Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why?
The 80s since I was a teenager then...
What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song?
There are too many to list.
What country do you live in and who is the leader of that country?
I live in the U.S.A. and Obama is the leader.
If you could say any sentence to the current leader of your country what would it be?
You gave people hope. Now do your damn job and to hell with pleasing Republicans.
What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night?
It used to be any channel with reruns of CSI or Without a Trace
What Disney villain are you the most like and why?
Not sure which one I'm most like but I do like Cruella de Ville
Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout?
I was a brownie once
If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat?
I'd want to take a boat just once so I could say I did and then fly the rest of the time.
Why is the sky blue during the day and black at night?
It is blue during the day because we directed toward the sun.; black at night because we're facing away from the sun.
What does your name mean?
Would you rather explore the deeps of the ocean or outer space?
Depths of the ocean
Word association... What is the first word that comes to mind when you see the word:
- Air: breathe
- Meat: steak
- Different: unusual
- Pink: me
- Deserve: a break
- White: black
- Elvis: dead
- Magic: Harry Potter
- Heart: break
- Clash: Titans
- Pulp: fiction
Hmmm.... so many to pick from. Famous people would be either Elvis or Marilyn Monroe. family would be Daddy-O's dad. Grandpa F
What if you could meet anyone who is alive?
Is there a movie that you love so much you could watch it everyday?
You are going to be stuck alone in an elevator for a week. What do you bring to do?
My laptop, food and drink, a pile of books, my quilting supplies, a cell phone, my ipod, a pillow, and a toilet (plus toilet paper).
Have you ever saved someone's life or had your life saved?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Right now I have a lot I could say but it's a litany of complaints.
There's also a bunch of stuff in my life that was up in the air and I hate writing cliff hanger posts when even I don't know the ending. I hate to "put it out there" and then not want to finish it up. Things with Princess and work have been hanging by a thread and I didn't know how it would go, but at least now I'm getting some answers. But it's been such an exhausting process I don't feel like I could write even a cohesive enough post to explain it all.
I feel like I could do post after post of random thoughts because I can't seem to eek out enough to make an entire post of anything.
I'm tired a lot lately and just feel disconnected with my world.
Sorry I'm such a lame blogger.
Friday, March 25, 2011
The big plan for the day is to see Mac in his show and take Princess out for dinner.
I guess this is me- I'm the one in the middle:
Thursday, March 24, 2011
He was great last night in his school play. He just blew me away. His drama club has accumulated enough money in the kitty and they bought some seriously extravagant sets. The costumes were awesome as was the make up. And the students did an amazing job. They were impressive. But I have to say this about Mac. He was the lead and in a four Act show, he had about 60% of all the lines. He had two terrifically long monologues. And he was just..... wow. He nailed that part. I've never seen anything like it. He has more acting talent in his little finger than I do my whole body. He was fabulous.
The second bit of good news is that he received an almost full ride scholarship to his first choice of schools. We owe around $3k out of a bill of $30k. They take payments. I am so proud of him and so relieved.
And he made the all A and B honor roll at the end of this quarter! Even with the high amount of senior-itis that's affecting (in infecting?) him he hasn't given up on academics.
He's also been attending 2 different church youth groups, all on his own. I don't make him go. I thought he was was going because of a girl but when he was no longer interested in that "skirt" he still kept going. He even goes to youth group when his friends bail. Furthermore, the youth minister is taking him to dinner tonight to get to know him and celebrate Mac's positive contributions to the youth ministry.
Finally, he's looking for a job- and not complaining- so it's great to see that responsible side.
She's on the all A honor roll- not a single B+ but all As!!!!!
Because of her outstanding academic record she was presented a trophy at the academic awards ceremony today!
Princess has decided to run track! She's a distance runner and is in three different events. She's been diligent in attending practices and working hard. Today is the first meet!
I'm also impressed because she's given up drinking soda pop for Lent and she hasn't fallen off the wagon yet!!!!
The Alcatraz kids live in a world of points. They earn and lose points at school and in their campus homes. For the 7th week in a row, she's earned 150 points here in school, which is the max number of points students can earn in a week. So she's had perfect school behavior for seven weeks; she so rocks!
Aren't my "kids" awesome?!?
Maggie the Mom
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tonight is opening night of Mac's school play! It's his first huge lead so I'm excited to see how well it goes for him. He's a bit of a diva about it all so I hope his performance lives up to his ego.
I'm adding a shelf here and there to the library bookcases. Well, let me rephrase that, I would LIKE to do that. I can find the extra shelves but the pins that actually hold the shelves are gone. Really. Who takes the pins? And I'll be honest here. We don't think it's the kids. Someone on the library committee who's been here since the invention of dirt said she wouldn't be surprised if a previous librarian- 2 or 3 ago- tossed them in the trash. Seriously?!?
Gasoline is so expensive right now that I put $30 in my tank this morning. I was so on Empty that the fuel light was on. And $30 filled it only half way. Prohibitive. It really irks me, and it's completely unnecessary.
My school didn't use all of their scheduled calendar snow days so I get this Friday off. Yup, no school at all. Just a day to hang out. Thank you to the day off gods! Did I mention Mac will be at school all that day? I'm going to sleep in and read and just be a bum.
I can't believe it could snow tomorrow. Not nice.
Princess did some work in her art class and it's been submitted to a local art school competition. I'll be visiting the gallery! She's one of the top contenders for ribbons in the categories she's entered in- I'll let you know what she wins!
Speaking of Princess and weather, she's running distance races in track and her meet is tomorrow. Of course, I'm going to watch and cheer her on but it's supposed to be a high of 31 degrees with possible snow. Today it's a high of 62 with a chance of rain. I'm so thrilled about standing outside in that weather tomorrow. Not.
One thing I miss from when I lived in Northern Civilization, Armpit, and even in the Wild West is that I always had a group of folks with whom I met for "Thirsty Thursday" festivities. I miss Thirsty Thursdays at the local watering hole. I don't even have a local watering hole.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
We have a program, that we pay for, through Scholastic called Reading Counts (RC). The very basics are that Scholastic gives books a reading level and a point value. Kids take a 10 question multiple choice quiz on a computer over a book. If they pass, the get points. If they fail, they get nothing. Teachers can use this tool however they want. It's a K-12 program. There are some more ins and outs but this is the general gist.
Here at my school, our English teachers tell students they get extra credit for reading books and passing the quizzes. Our library does some incentives, too, which is awesome for the kids. (One milestone is 500 point- an off campus pizza party for the student, a staff member and a friend!)
To keep current on the quizzes, schools have two options: 1) subscribe to the Scholastic online service that automatically uploads the updates as available; or, 2) receive in a CD in the mail and manually load the quizzes into a school's local quiz bank.
Because of costs and our school's situation in our school system, we have the "CD in the mail" option. Since I started this job, we've not received any CD's.
I will say it was the middle of February before I figured this out. So I started making calls to some people here in our buildings to see if the CDs we delivered to somewhere else on campus; they would have the old librarian's name so I thought someone might have taken it upon themselves to deliver CD-ROMs to any of the IT departments. No. They also didn't go to our administrators nor were they sent back to the company- another thought I had since there was a name change in librarians.
I called Scholastic and left a voice mail with our rep. Four days later I've heard nothing so I try again. Still nothing that week.
I call Scholastic and get bounced to four different people before I get sent to Customer Service. The operator tells me we have the online service. I tell her we do not. She says it must be a mistake and says she'll send the discs out and I should receive them in 5-7 business days. Now, remember, I'm wanting the updates for January thru March.
On the 7th business day I get a message from a nameless rep at Scholastic that says we belong to the online service and to call their 800 number for help if I need it.
WE DO NOT BELONG TO THE ONLINE SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I call and actually get MY school's rep on the phone. I explain to her. She says the computer says.... you guessed it, we belong to the online service. I tell her okay fine and ask her to walk me through it. We start the process and Lo and behold I can't get online to the information because I don't have an online account.
After many clicks and being put on hold at her end, she comes back and tells me to start doing title searches of new books that were added to the online quiz bank in the last 3 months. She gives me about 10 titles and I have access to none of those quizzes.
Her answer is that she needs to "further investigate" to see what's wrong. She's supposed to call me back tomorrow.
I don't think she needs to investigate. Someone just needs to mail me the damn discs. As I told her, I have 2 years worth of CDs in a box so I have no idea what the damn problem is now.
Impressed I am not,
Monday, March 21, 2011
Smothered. That's the world I think of lately. I don't mind being with him and spending lots of time together but he's so close in proximity it's driving me crazy. He's always "touching" me. Hmmmm, that sounds a little X rated. What I mean is he likes to hold my hand, squeeze my shoulder, hug and kiss me, pat my hair and stuff like that. He even had to sit next to me on the couch all the time even when there's other furniture available. It's.... overwhelming most of the time. I think it's very nice that he likes to show affection but it's just too much to have it ALL THE TIME. I want to scream "back off" which will just upset him, and probably rightly so.
And it seems like lately we've spent an increased amount of time together. In all honesty and fairness, most of the time it doesn't bother me but lately it does. I just feel like there are some other things I want to be doing and can't because he's always there, hovering around.
In my head I think that if we're married and we have our own stuff all in the same place we'll be able to do our own thing. Right now I'm either at his apartment which is the king of all things bachelor pad, or he's with me at Daddy-O's house, or we're out in public. When I'm at home/ Daddy-O's I like to watch tv, but I also like to read blogs and surf the web. I like to read books. I like to work on mini projects. But when he's there I feel like I need to entertain him rather than leave him sit there on the sofa while I'm in another part of the house doing my thing. If we lived in the same house he would have his "do his own thing" stuff readily available, as would I.
I also feel like we are spending lots of time together. Again, most of the time I don't mind but just lately it's bugging the crap out of me. I actually made plans to do something with XRay Girl and he said I did it because I was mad at him. WTF?!? I realize he was just upset and we talked it out but... seriously?
He's a good guy and he's fun, nice, and all that stuff, and right now, he's always there. I need to re-adjust something but I'm just not sure what.
Or maybe I'm just having a fit of... relationship cold feet. Who knows?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Is the body programmed to know when it's a weekend?
Usually weekends I sleep as long as I can and then drink coffee while sitting on the couch in my jammies for a good 2 hours. I blog or surf the web, read emails. I might watch a movie or read, but on weekends I am slow and leisurely as I start my days.
Today was an exception to the weekend rule. I actually opened the front office today as part of my weekend receptionist job. I had to have the doors unlocked, and phones and lights on by 8am. I got here at 7:53am. This is about the same time I roll into work at the library every single day of the week. I even went to bed last night around the same time I do on a 'school night'.
What I want to know is why this morning feels so rough? It's the same time and same body. It's a job that's about equal in work load or requirements on my body. In all honesty, this is probably simpler than the library, overall.
But when my alarm went off this morning- even 15 minutes later than usual!- I about died. I couldn't believe it. I hit the snooze and I actually fell back asleep which is unheard of. When I tap snooze I usually use those 9 minutes to contemplate the world and my day and slowly move all my limbs around. But this morning I almost dismantled the clock and then promptly went back to sleep. When it went off the second time I think I left a cartoon like hole in the ceiling about my bed, I was so startled.
I'm sitting here barely able to have my eyes open. I'm sucking down my coffee but it's not doing it's job.
I swear my body knows it's a Sunday, a day of rest, a day to sleep in.
I think Sunday 8am feels like any other time at 5am.
And it's supposed to rain today.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
ITSam, Mac and I went to get Mac a new phone earlier this week and due to some weird Sprint rules, we can't add Mac to Sam's phone plan for another 30 days. Ummmm, we didn't know this before we went to Best Buy and tried to get said phone. And Mac had already had his "new phone experience" pushed back an extra 30 days because of the car repairs I had to pay for.
This did not bode well with Mac. He was really pi**ed off. I explained a few options to him:
a) I get him a "throw away" phone to use for 30 days which will have text and call on it
b) I get a phone plan for him that day but he gets a job and makes the payments
Obviously "A" was practical. (And sounds cool. "Throw away" phone sounds so conspiracy/ criminal/ gangster/ Jason Bourne, doesn't it?)
The problem with "B" was that I promised Mac that I would get him a phone and I would pay for it as long as he was working on his Bachelor's degree and not failing any classes or quit/ dropped out of college/ kicked out of college. My other stipulation was that he got what I could afford and if he wanted something bigger and better as time went on, then the phone would be his responsibility. I didn't want him to have to take on this financial responsibility. Furthermore, if we went this route, he's still a minor so the phone would be in my name and if he bailed on the payments, I get stuck!
He then proceeded to have a hissy fit over the whole thing.
He's 5'11" and weighs about 270 pounds. When he threw a fit as a little kid I could scoop him up and take him out of the store. Unless I got a hand cart and a tazer, that wasn't going to happen. And short of him throwing himself on the floor and kicking and screaming, he had a big old fit.
So what did I do? I had no balls and was embarrassed to death and wanted him to shut up so I said, "Fine. What do you want? My phone?" and he said yes.
So for the next 30 days he has my phone and I have a throw away.
Yes, I realize all the things I did wrong here. I realize he was a complete and total ass.
I am ready for him to leave for college. Right now.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I was given a page with all the teams on it, and brackets, so I could pick winners. It was free to do here at work, and there are prizes. Our athletic director is taking care of it for us.
Now, a basketball is the orange one, with the black stripes, right?
Now, I guess there's probably a logical way to make picks for the winners, right?
Here's how I picked some of the one's I did:
- Ohio and Butler because I gotta stay loyal to my Midwest roots.
- Villanova and Gonzaga because they're fun to say
- Kentucky because I have family there and my bio- grandfather was a huge Kentucky fan. The only gift I ever remember him giving me was a Kentucky shirt. And a lady at work that I really like is rooting for them, too.
- Xavier because it starts with X and there are so few words in the world that start with X
- N. Carolina because the Tar Heels is such a cool nickname!
- Georgia because Bragger lives there
- Duke because I heard that last year they won a bunch of games
- Tennessee because Elvis is buried there
- San Diego because I've always wanted to visit that city
- UNLV, BYU and UCLA because they have cool acronyms
- Morehead because I have family there
- Georgetown because I wanted to attend there
- Purdue because I don't like IU
- Texas A & M because they go by letters with an ampersand
- Notre Dame because they have, in football, a touchdown Jesus. And because my Uncle loves Notre Dame.
- Pittsburgh because I went there once, for 22 hours
- Florida because I want to be there NOW
There were some struggles for me. I avoided Michigan because when I was in high school Chris Weber played for them and threw a crappy shot at the buzzer and I've never forgotten it. It was Richmond -vs- Vanderbelt and I wasn't sure. I had a pair of Gloria Vanderbelt jeans when I was a kid. I also love Gone With the Wind, hence the Richmond tie in. I went with Richmond because Grandma Shrew gave me the jeans.
I had to pick a total points scored in the championship game in case there was a tie breaker. I picked the number 139. The AD said that was a good choice.
It will be interesting to see how well I do!
Mad about March,
Thursday, March 17, 2011
When I planned this event it never dawned on me that I could use it as a 40 Before 40 item!
I had a woman from the community who is a card maker and does some beautiful work be my guest speaker. She volunteered to come in during our 90 minute lunch period and give a brief presentation about card making and then she would let the audience members each make a card.
She and I met in advance and planned that we would have 8-10 kids with about 3-4 chaperons. I got a list of supplies, which I bought and/or got donated. I provided lunch. The kids had to sign up ahead of time and write a paragraph about why they should be picked to participate.
In the end we had a group of 6 people in attendance. The presenter gave her little Power Point about card making, the history and her own interest. Then we all got to make cards.
One thing she did that was really cool was that she made several templates. She cut all the paper in advance (due to time constraints) and bagged it up into mini kits. Each person was able to choose a kit and then she went through the creative process. It was pretty awesome! Though the kids didn't have a chance to actually use the Cricut she brought, she did a small demonstration with it. (And we have an arts & crafts & hobby room here on campus and if the kids have good behavior, they're allowed to go there after school and weekends. There's a Cricut in that space so the kids got see what it could do during the program AND will have access to one, too!)
It was a fun experience. While I will never become a 'card maker' (that's Daddy-O's specialty) it was fun to do. I can see why it's awesomely fun to do as a group, too. I will occasionally make a card or two, in the future, I'm sure.
Here are some samples of the work the kids made:
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
But once in a while a small act of kindness can restore a girl's faith in humanity.
Friday I went to Northern Civilization and there were 2 things I wanted: a cup of Starbucks with the free mini pastry, and then to stop at my favorite bakery and get a cupcake for later in the weekend. Starbucks went off without a hitch.
ITSam and I arrange at the bakery and there were no cupcakes. I adore, desire, crave, yearn for, dream of, have wild fantasies about, this bakery's vanilla and strawberry creme with white chocolate cupcakes and they were out. Nary a cupcake to be had. I sort of broke down.
I'm suddenly telling the guy behind the counter, a kid basically, named Jeff, about my terrible fate in life right now, that I drove an 1 for one of these cupcakes, they've never been out before and I just sort of faded to a stop, hunched my shoulders, muttered thanks and started to walk away.
Jeff said, "wait! Ya got about 15 minutes." I look at him from behind a curtain of hair and one tear slides down my face and drops off the tip of my nose, and I nod.
Jeff then proceeds to venture into the huge backroom freezer. He comes back and said they have the actual cake part of the cupcake, frozen and if I didn't want to eat it right away he would make me a vanilla strawberry creme with white chocolate chips cupcake. He said he would make me as many as I wanted.
This was not just a matter of grabbing some frosting and slapping it on. He had to get strawberries and make the strawberry part of the filling from scratch. Then he got out a tub of vanilla buttercreme frosting and assembled the cupcakes. He had to fill pastry bags with frosting. He didn't have any white chocolate chips on hand so he went into the store part of the bakery and got the missing ingredient.
I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. I couldn't believe that this guy went to all this trouble for me all because I was having a bad life at the moment. I got four cupcakes since he was going to all the work. Actually, ITSam ordered four for me because I couldn't speak. I was just shocked at his kindness, his effort.
I said thank you about a zillion times. I told his manager on the way out what he did. I wrote a comment to their web site.
It was more than a cupcake, you know. He just restored my faith in humanity, at least for a little while.
I'm thankful for Jeff, and people like him.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I am damn good at my job. I work well with our kids who are explosive and hurt and angry and scared and mad, all at the same time. I'm good with these kids DAMN IT!!!!!!
Yesterday I broke up a girl fight, breaking up two girls, one of whom is known to be MEAN. I talked her down and got her out of the room and then stayed and talked with her while the administrators did what they had to do. By the time we got any help in the classroom where the fight broke out, I had it it sorted out. And the classroom teacher I helped- it was his room where the girls were fighting- just stood by. All the administrators had to do when they got there was administer the punishment.
I talked to the girl and found out all that was wrong and she cried and spilled. Then she talked- calmly- to the assistant principal, who she hates, and got it together. Funny, it occurred to me that my school has all men as administrators.
Look, I'm good in the library and I'm good at my job there. I like and respect these kids. I like working in education. I will go above and beyond the call for my school. I don't know what it is but these kids click with me and I like them as well. I'm a good to person in my building and I have a good attitude. I don't take crap from the kids but I get where they're coming from. I respect them and i have high expectations.
But I'm tired. I can't get full time hours. I can't get descent money. I am so very happy that they all like me and think I do a good job. I would be a damn good case manager and have been told that by people in power positions but I don't have the right degree. I don't have the right degree to teach or be an administrator. I have the right degree to do nothing.
I'm frustrated and mad. I am GOOD at this. I can't afford to go back to school. I can't afford rent or groceries let alone more school. I can't afford to get a car payment let alone another school loan. I'm tired, I'm angry, and I've had it.
I've found what I need to do but I can't make a living.
I'm sick of looking for a job. I'm tired of watching people hate being in education, hating our kids, bitching all the time about their jobs when they have no clue, of people not doing their damn jobs and I KNOW I could do this far better than at least half of the folks there. This sucks sucks sucks and it's not fair. I'm sick of looking for a new job, of being the new kid on the block all the time, sick of no money, or re-learning, of being at the bottom.
I want to stay home and do nothing and hide from the world. I want to work in a bakery and be the pastry decorator, hiding in the back, dealing with no people and just frosting cake after cake and not being in charge of shit or talking to people. I want to arrange flowers. Show me how and stick me in the back room at the florist and I'll just do arrangement after arrangement. Because I just can't cope with people telling me how great I am, how much they love me, how much I'm appreciated, but "gee I'm sorry we don't have a full time spot for you because you don't have the right ___________(fill in the damn blank)." I don't want to work with people and like it. I want to be regulated to the back of the bus, doing behind the scenes work. Give me a job where I don't have a chance to shine or be good or stand out and let me just do what I'm told, assembly line, rote work.
Monday, March 14, 2011
See I was explaining why King Herod wanted to kill the baby Jesus and why the Wise Men were 12 days late getting to the manger, and it had nothing to do with the North Star being a crappy GPS.
Okay, so ya see, I told students King Herod was a bad gangster guy like Al Capone, and that he wanted to kill the baby. He sent his goons after the baby but the goons weren't very smart so they followed the Wise Men. The Wise Men were called "Wise Men" for a reason and they knew the goons were behind them so they went in circles for 12 days to shake 'em off their tail so they could see the baby Jesus and not be the ones who led the hit squad straight to him; that would be a real blemish on their records and I think they could no longer be called Wise.
And this is why we have Epiphany.
Made total sense to me, and the students, at the time...
Maybe I should I write a new version of the Bible? Or maybe not...
Sunday, March 13, 2011
17. Who would you like to show up at your door to say they love you?
18. Last furry thing you touched?
I pet Photographer's dog, Lola just today
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
booze on Friday night and caffeine every day
20. Do you miss film or does digital work for you?
digital is fine
21. Favorite age you have been so far?
I don't have a favorite
22. Your worst enemy?
23. What is your current desktop picture?
Johnny Depp at home and the Divine Ms K at work
24. What was the last thing you said that was funny?
"Remember to remove the eggs from their shells."
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
million bucks, of course
26. Who can't you say “no” to?
just about anyone
27. The last song you bought or downloaded?
I bought a Lady Gaga CD yesterday- The Fame
28. What time of day were you born?
the time when I was ready
29. What’s your favorite number? Why?
Seven because it's a little higher but still in the middle
30. Where did you live in 1987?
Here in Civilization
31. Are you jealous of anyone?
32. Is anyone jealous of you?
33. It's been almost a decade. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Standing on a college campus, getting ready to take a class toward my master's. I was on my cell phone, fighting with my boyfriend of five years who was dumping me. I was also listening to the radio, to Bob & Tom and they started announcing it. I hung up on BF and stood in the parking lot with my door open and radio on. Everybody in the parking lot was doing the same thing- all of us standing out there with the doors open and radios on. Then is was like a mad rush to buildings. When we arrived tvs were on in classrooms and hallways and knots of people were standing around all over the place in utter silence, just watching, having spilled out of offices, clumped together.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
ITSam and I dropped books off at my favorite used book store and I acquire some more for the school library. While there we met some cat who ended up giving me his business card because I was looking for the entire Michael Buble set of cds and he says he has over 4, 200 CDs and if I email him he'll give me HIS set. More on that in a later post!
Then he and I got some of my favorite cupcakes (tomorrow's post!) and grabbed dinner.
After dinner we decided we really weren't ready to go home. We thought we'd go somewhere to hear some music. Now neither of us were dressed for a club scene nor we were appareled correctly for a nice jazz club. So I agreed, with reticence, to go to a country bar he knew about. He said we could sit in a back booth, chill out, have a few drinks and maybe take a spin or two around the dance floor.
We arrived, parked, paid our cover and then learned there was no country music that night. My first thought was "yay!" until I heard the band. A classic rock band. That covered Poison, Scorpion, Ratt,, etc. Not even the "good" sort of classic rock. I was wishing for country.
But as not to be a killjoy I put my best foot forward, chugged a couple beers and sat back to people watch. Oh my god. It was... surreal. I was wishing I had my camera. You know that web site about the scary looking people at Wal-Mart? Well, I think this bar was where they came to socialize.
There was a woman who had to be in her mid 50s. She was UGLY! She hit every branch on the way down as she fell from the ugly tree! She was also way overly tan. And her body, while sorta skinny-ish, was droopy. And she had this ugly light brown hair all pulled back into a ponytail and then added one of those long extensions so it looked like it went to her butt. Only the extension was a white blonde color. No it didn't match her real color. And she wore blue eye shadow and orange frosted lipstick right out of the 1980s. She also wore skinny jeans, black, with a studded belt. Studded as in goth not in Harley Davidson. And the worse this shirt thing. It was red and lacy and looked of like a negligee. It had a diving neck line and itty-bitty spaghetti straps. Did I mention she was in her mid 50s and her boobs were droopy and she wasn't wearing a bra??
Sam and I decided when her boobs fell out we were leaving.
She would dance and sway alone on the dance floor with one flimsy strap of that top off her shoulder and she would jiggle, with her eyes closed. she was drunk off her ass and couldn't walk a straight line. It was unreal. I can't remember ever seeing anything like that before. Ever.
We left before her boobs hit the floor but it was close. She did manage to take off her shoes and dance alone on the dance floor and once in awhile she perked up and sort of strutted like Mick Jagger.
Other things that were strange were fashions. The 80s are definitely in. There were tons of girls with ripped and holey jeans. Lots of ripped shirts dangling of shoulders- hello Flashdance called and would like her shirt back. One woman who was about 50 wore heels and pants that were totally from the end scene in Grease. And she too was unattractive. And then there was the woman and her friends and she was the one with no style. She had on "mom pants" and tennis shoes. She had on a t-shirt that was Tye-dyed. And she carried a Vera Bradley purse- one of the huge patterned soccer mom totes. Sam said nothing screams "I'm having my period and am old" like that look. Then there were the 2 couples who looked like they came from church....
Then there was the guy in the wheel chair who "danced" and was wearing dirty ripped sweat pants and a t-shirt he had ripped from under the arms to his waist and the young skinny crack whore looking chick who straddled him and bounced up and down on his lap while he buried his face in her non-existent boobs. Hello, Forrest Gump called and is looking for Lieutenant Dan.
The crowd was older. I was expecting it to be young. Well, was I wrong. It was a mixed, eclectic bag of folks but mostly it was older people. They were about my age and up, but mostly up. And dressed outrageously. And behaved outrageously.
Sam and I actually saw people we knew and while they were dressed appropriately they were pretty outrageous as well. I was sort of ashamed at their behavior.
The band made me laugh. They really all wanted to be Bret Michaels. They all wore torn jeans, tight jeans. And no shirts but leather vests. And had long, stick straight white blond hair. And they were old. they were my age or older, mostly older.
After we left we still didn't have enough night life so we tried one more country bar. They actually played country music and we danced and two-stepped. We had a few drinks and laughed and danced and sang.
I got home at 3am.
It was an awesomely fun time.
I can wait to do it again....
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I got home from work/ school at 4pm. I put on my jammies and sat on my butt on the couch. Daddy-O and Mac fixed an early supper, which I ate. And I didn't even offer to help clean up and I didn't feel guilty about it either (though I did fill the dishwasher before Daddy-O cooked...)
I went back to the couch and finished Mac's FAFSA. Then I watched movies and read email and played Boggle on my phone.
ITSam came over and we watched a movie and then he left and I went to bed.
I was a complete bum who put on pj's at 4pm. And I really don't care.
I feel like I've been going 3000 miles an hour for the last month. I've physically felt like poop, completely wiped out. I've done two jobs the last 4 days and then had my big program for the Mardi Gras party. Add all the personal stuff like FAFSA, broken cars, Princess, money, taxes and just life, it's been a VERY STRESSFUL time. I told Daddy-O it was a good thing I lived with him (and respected him enough to not drink like a fish in his h0use) or I would've become an alcoholic in the last several months due to stress.
Last night's veg out session was awesome and I plan on doing a few more of those in the upcoming weeks.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Yesterday I hosted a little Mardi Gras party at school; to make it educational I gave a Christian perspective of Mardi Gras (since we're a faith based facility) and fed the kids King Cake. My administrators came in to hear the program and both sent me a nice email thanking me for all my work and exclaiming on what a great job I did.
I attended a School Board Meeting last night to show my support to my administration for a very ugly school politics situation and this morning I had an email thanking me for my support.
I heard from them about liking my newsletter I made for the library.
They aren't the type to "over kill" with praise but they recognize when someone goes out of the way to do something extra and I do appreciate that so much. The last two places I worked did not have administrators who did this. The last school the administrators barely could remember my name let alone recognize anything "extra" I did.
This is a lovely change of pace.
Some of my colleagues are also nice like this. I get notes or emails or just verbal praise or thanks from secretaries or fellow teachers. It's nice to know they realize I'm trying to do SOMETHING good for the students. Even though I make $8 an hour and am considered part time.
And while singing praise on people, I have to say the students in my school completely rocked yesterday. I gave the presentation and the kids sat quietly and were attentive (or faked it really well.). None of them were out of line about Mardi Gras/ beads/ boobs/ booze; they were very school appropriate with their questions and comments. They said "thank you" for the donuts and the programs. They were enthusiastic and engaged. They cleaned up their own messes and pushed in chairs before they left the library. They complimented me on all the decorations. I'm just saying that while my school population are considered "criminals" they were dang nice criminals yesterday. I had contact with the entire student body yesterday and it was an excellent positive experience. I was very impressed with our students.
Sometimes the "atta boys" are just the perk-me-up and reminder that I need to keep doing what I do, whether they come from the students or adults!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I'm almost 40 and I have zits on my forehead. A complete "you've got to be kidding" moment.
I wish I could wear a pencil skirt.
Gwyneth Paltrow is amazing, and I enjoy her in everything, including Glee!
I downloaded the Boggle app on my phone and I'm becoming addicted. I was thinking that tomorrow's lunch at school is disgusting so I was going to just sit in my library and play Boggle. I might need therapy.
There's a barber shop where the stylists dress like a Hooter's waitress to cut hair. The walls are covered in huge flat screen tvs that play sports over and over. The haircuts are about $30. You've got to be kidding- again.
Alcatraz is going to an all year round school schedule the next school year. So much for summers off- which I think is a GOOD thing. I'll let you know the details as they are forthcoming.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I am now ensconced in springtime. I can hear the honking of the Canadian geese and when I look up, I see their perfect military like formation, their wings flapping in harmony with each other, propelling them across the sky. I hear the bray of cattle, which are grazing in a green field, paying no attention to me. I watch their tails flick bugs and the movement of their jaws as they roll cud around in their enormous mouths. Their black and white colors contrast the green drastically. Green is the dominant color, even the air appears green. The hint of grass as it starts to peer out of the dirt seems to look like a green spray painted ground. The dirt road is dark brown, muddy, from the rains, and cuts a swathed path through the greenness that hangs in the air.
Wet, damp earth infiltrates my nose and I inhale deeply, enjoying the scent. Wildflowers are just starting to bloom along the dirt path that could be a road and the floral tinge to the air makes me smile.
I pull my jacket from my shoulders and I enjoy the breeze across my skin, as welcome as a familiar lover. The sun hangs low on the horizon and the spring sunset has dark blues and purples chasing the reds and pinks across the almost night sky. The sunset paintbox is spilled and as the gloaming comes quickly, the green of the day disappears, and darkness quickly settles, leaving me to wait for the rebirth of yet another season.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Yes, I took only one class and I'm not saying I won't try it again, but my list says "try" something. I did try it, at least once.
I'm not sure I even like it.
There's an awesome young woman who works at my local coffeeshop who hosts a free knitting class at said coffeeshop every Wednesday night. A couple weeks ago, Princess and I went.
We had some needles (big ones since everyone I know says those are easiest to learn on) and some practice yarn.
I also want to say this woman is a great teacher. She was patient and gave good explanations. She used analogies which I need. She showed me several times from different angles how to cast on. (For those of you who don't knit, this means gets some stitches on the needles to actually begin the project.) I want to make it clear this was not a "teacher" issue. It was really the student.
While Princess practically had half a blanket done I had about 6 stitches on my needles. I couldn't get my fingers and the yarn and the needles all coordinated together. I would loop in the wrong spot or drop something and end up with a knot-- somehow. None of us were sure how. I started over about 86 times. For some reason I just couldn't get it. We even tried different sized needles. It just wasn't working for me.
I couldn't even cast on let alone pearl or knit anything. (you know, "knit one, pearl two")
This is the most I managed to get done. Then the next three stitches I did were all wrong and we had to take it all off.
I tried to learn a craft I've never done before. I like the teacher so I'll probably go back at least once, maybe twice. I have hope. I have no knitting project but I have hope.
Thought I may never get a scarf or a blanket out of this craft, there were three positives: I did like drinking coffee, spending time with Princess, and getting to know K, the teacher.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The Glee Soundtracks are my current favorite musical conglomeration ever.
I love my new cell phone/ hand held computer- the HTC, but the battery life sucks, sucks, sucks.
I'm going to make jello-o cake this weekend. My biggest challenge will be deciding on cherry or orange.
ITSam has his son this weekend and I don't have to work so I'm going to hang out and do nothing. Oh yeah, I couldn't do anything if I wanted since I don't HAVE A CAR.
ITSam had to explain condoms to his 11 year old son. I'm glad I wasn't around when they had discussion. I'm the parent who gave Mac all his sex talks. Once in my life for that was enough. Though, at lunch the other day, Princess actually asked me how lesbians had sex. Ugh!
Speaking of Princess, her bio-mom is coming to visit her this weekend. Gee, that's nice.
I took one knitting class. Is that enough to cross something off the 40 for 40?
Because of the asshat mechanics, I had to miss zumba this week. So much for being on an exercise roll.
I hate March.
Maggie the grump
Friday, March 4, 2011
Tuesday night around 5:30pm it was ready for pick up.
Wednesday morning it wouldn't start. Daddy-O let me take his car to work. ITSam got it started and thought he figured the problem. Wednesday night Princess and I were running around and it wouldn't start. I jiggled and wiggled stuff until it started.
Thursday morning it wouldn't start. It went back to the shop.
The owner of the shop called me today at work and told me the "new" problem. He also said, and I quote, "We'll have it done tonight if I have to stay here until 10 o'clock tonight and work on it myself."
At 5:45pm ITSam talked to them and they were still working on it. The guy on the phone said he would park it outside with the keys in it when they were done.
At 7pm it was not parked outside with the keys in it and there was not one single soul at that garage.
Because I was hoping they were on dinner break or went to get a part, I went back there about 10 minutes ago. It is STILL not parked outside.
It's been 8 days. Eight damn days, people!!!!!!! God created Earth in 7 and these asshats can't fix a flippin' ignition switch on a 10 year old Chevy in 8??????
I'm done being nice.
Tomorrow is Carmageddon.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I was asked yesterday to sub for her today. And tomorrow. And Monday. (I'll explain in a later post about why she's not here at the moment. I have to think about how to word that post so no one around can accidentally stumble on it and find me. That would be bad.)
She had a different sub for the last five days. In that last five days that sub has written more than 40 demerits, has kicked kids out of the classroom, had 2 separate altercations with two different kids, and has cut their daily behavior points excessively. I'm actually being sent in to get things back under control.
Oh. My. God. I'm not a terminator; quite the opposite, actually. They want me because I am NOT a terminator. I'm... rainbows and bunnies--- with a twist of perky.
My administration decided it would be in the best interest of the students and the school to close the library for an indefinite period of time so I could come to the rescue in this class.
I'm flattered. I think.
Seriously, there's the possibility that I could just finish the rest of the year, back in that classroom.
Bust as for today... Today I subbed. The classroom teacher sent NO lesson plans so I winged it (or is it "wang it"?). I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say I had a good day.
Number of demerits I wrote today= 0
Number of students I kicked out of class=0
Number of points I cut=o
Number of student altercations= 0
The looks on the faces of the fellow teachers who thought I, too, would fail= priceless
Let's hope I can have a repeat performance tomorrow.
Song of the moment for me:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Mac loves his government class and he really likes the teacher. He's been in her other classes before and usually she teaches in lecture style discussion. She changed this class up completely and Mac had hated every minute of it. he's talked with her about is and she said because the state is changing to merit pay for teachers she's trying new teaching methods. And in Mac's opinion, it's not working.
So yesterday during class she gave them all a worksheet: 14 questions and 2 that she wanted answered in paragraphs.
Mac did all 14 and then answered the other 2 in a few sentences. He then read the directions. He told her he only answered in a few sentences and why should he write a paragraph if it doesn't take that much to give the correct answer. She told him to just do it.
It was toward the end of class and she was gathering the assignment and she told him to turn it in tomorrow. He started to give he the other 14 questions and she told him no. He said he would rather have some points counted off for the incorrect answers for 2 questions and than lose all his points for the other 14. She told him to not worry about it because.... she wasn't going to grade it away.
Mac said then why did she assign them busy work, it was a stupid waste of time when they could've been having a productive discussion and this was stupid and he was bored and why wouldn't she teach?
I guess she proceeded to tell him that she tried to make lesson plans for everyone and she was sick of him criticizing her and she cried. And he said "this is bullshit" and walked out of the class. He said he went directly to the guidance office and told on himself. Then the guidance counselor took him to the assistant principal. He got 4 after school detentions, where he will spend 30 minutes helping clean the school.
He went and found the teacher and apologized to her, on his own, without prompting from anyone. According to him, she forgave him and SHE apologized because she has student like Mac who are at the top who want to learn, kids who are special ed. who can't do the simplest things eh has, the kids who don't care no matter what she does, and then the middle group. She said no administrators can answer who they are supposed to get high scores and good results with such a mixed class and she said she was sorry she was failing kids like him.
I'm going to start counting down the days until he leaves for college.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
- Mac got 4 days of after school detention for shooting off his mouth and using the word shit
- I did NOT get the job
- My car broke down last week and I got the $390 bill today
- I will not be appoint Princess's guardian in June. Long story. It's nothing she nor I did; It's politics and "the system."