Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heat wave, not of the tropical sort

I'm tired of things overheating:
  • emotions- mine, others, students
  • my body- hot flashes, over weight, whatever
  • the oven- long post coming about how the oven went to Hell... (I *heart puns*)
  • tempers- mine, others, students
  • computers- mine runs for about 30 minutes then shuts off from lack of fan running
  • the weather- it's the Midwest in January and we should be up to our asses in snow yet it was 58 degrees today and sunny and breezy

Too hot,


Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple, easy, quiet, low-key- what I want out of a marriage

I think we all go through different stages in our lives and want different things and right now I want to either be completely alone or I want a boyfriend husband who will agree with comply to my demands OCDs.

And I want to point out to everyone, including Daddy-O (especially Daddy-O), that I'm not talking to or about Daddy-O. He has nothing to do with this. NOT dad!!!!!! Now...

When I get married again (okay, if I get married again though after this many years the odds aren't good but...) I think the poor man is going to think I'm nuts. But I am so sick of cleaning up after... well, Mac. I love him and he is getting better. He really is but I'm just tired. I think this is why at age 18 years the kids are adults because we, as parents, are tired of cleaning up after them. Age 18 is the limit and I've hit it.

I also think part of my issue is that I've made all the decisions for Mac and me all alone, for the last 16 years. Until moving in with Daddy-O I had to do every single thing myself from cooking, cleaning, errands, phone calls, arrangements for anything, and make all the decisions. I am so tired of doing that.

And it's more than just that. If I buy food, I want it to be there when I go to eat it. I'm so sick of getting in the cupboard or freezer and stuff is gone or I take out the container and it's empty or almost so empty there's not hardly anything left (really, why put the box of crackers back with 3 crackers in it??? Seriously.) I don't want to have to cook a meal if I don't feel like it. If I want popcorn for dinner, I'll eat that. If I want summer sausage, cheese, bread and wine for dinner, I'll have that. If I don't want to eat, then I won't. If I get married, he is going to just have to understand and accept this. I do like to cook but I'm sick of it. And Future Husband Guy better have a wide range of tastes in foods because I'm tired of fixing the same stuff all the time. I cook to cater to Mac most of the time and I want different foods.Future Husband Guy should know his way around a kitchen and realize that if he wants something and I don't, then he can go have it.

I'm a person who keeps stuff. I'm not ready for the show hoarders nor could I even be called a pack-rat, I don't think, but I do keep things. But when Future Husband Guy and I get together there is going to be no clutter. Everything will have a place in a drawer, cupboard, closet, basket, or even in a Rubbermaid container stacked. If something won't fit in those places, then I'm throwing it out. I will not stack shit around. His stuff too. DOWN WITH CLUTTER!

I don't want to hear rap music ever again in my house.

I want things left where I put them! I don't want to hunt for the remote control or a magazine.

I hate cords and they will NOT be strung around my house.

If I'm going to have a full time job and Future Husband Guy has a full time job, I am not going to be a full time wife, either. He can help with the cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, paying bills, chores and all that other shit. I will not do it alone any more.

Seriously I dream of having someone come and clean my apartment once a week, when I'm living on my own with Future Husband Guy. I'd keep my weekend receptionist job to pay for that alone. I am NOT kidding! There would never be dust or cobwebs. There would always be clean sheets! I wouldn't have to touch the vacuum cleaner!

I will compromise and communicate but let me clear up front, I'm going to be fanatical about this stuff and I will live alone if I have to because this is the stuff I'm not willing to bend on. And no, I don't need medication.

Maybe I'm just a little stressed....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birthday month

Since I had the worst 40th birthday in history and since so much bad stuff is around my birthday and I've decided to move it officially to Feb, 26, (you can read about that HERE!) my best gal pal Curley said the entire month of February should be my birthday. I like that idea!

I don't know what that means exactly but I like the concept. Sorta like Hanuka but for my birthday, like Maggieuka.

Start planning now for the celebration will commence in 3 days.

Let the countdown begin,

Saturday, January 28, 2012


So after the wallet has been missing officially for 9 days, it was found this afternoon!!!!! In Levi's car!

This was after, of course, I cleaned my car (which didn't hurt anything) and Mac called his college to see if it was turned in. And we called the video store to see if it was turned it.

I was so glad we didn't cancel his ATM card and pay the $20 fee and then freeze the account for 30 days to make sure there was no attempted activity.

I hugged Levi.

Mac jumped up and down and screamed and whooped and hollered in the middle of the parking lot. He hugged Levi.

I told Mac if he ever loses his wallet again, he'll be in deep crappola.

I'm glad it wasn't stolen. I'm glad Mac wasn't a victim of identity theft. Who'd wanna be him anyway?


LOST! And it has nothing to do with islands-- and the BMV is just stupid

Mac has lost his wallet. We did the whole "think back" where he was when he had it last, which was a chore in and of it's self. Teenagers go weird places and do weird things. And they're in cars with lots of people. Could it be in Nick's car? Levi's? Justin's? Even's? Could it be in the yard where they played in the snow in the middle of the night? The garage at Nick's where they were hunting for a cord? In Nick's mom's car? Stolen from work? Blah, blah, blah!

We finally determined where he had it last and where he thinks it has to be... either Nick's house, Nick's mom's car, Nick's backyard or stolen from work. That's what Mac thinks. We still have been checking out the entire house, top to bottom. We've gone through all his laundry, his room, his bed, around the TV, the bathroom, the kitchen, the porch, under all the furniture,IN all the furniture, his school bag, my car, his coat.... we have seriously looked everywhere. (And yes Daddy-O we looked behind the bookcase where it fell before.) We even checked the laundry room itself. It just isn't here.

Personally, in all honesty, I think one of three things happened:
1- one of Nick's sketchy friends found Mac's wallet and stole it (I REALLY think this happened!)
2-it's somewhere in Levi's car or Nick's mom's car (these are the last 2 vehicles he rode in while he was thinking of where he saw it last)
3- he left it in his coat pocket at work and someone lifted it from there (least likely but a possibility based in the information I have

So what this means is that he has lost his driver's license, his social security card, and his brand new ATM card (there' no money in that account and won't be until Monday- thank God!)

Can anyone think of a better situation for identity theft than this? And Nick knows some sleazy people and it wouldn't surprise me if one of those people sold it off. UGH!

I told him to cancel that card ASAP. His entire school loan is going to be deposited in there on Monday and he doesn't want that amount stolen! He's freaking out because it's a $20 fee to replace the card and 10 days before the card will be here. I could care less about either of these things but he's freaking out over it.

What I'M more concerned about is replacing his driver's license and his social security card. I went to the SS web site and according to the FAQ it's not horrible to replace- can you believe that???? Because he knows the number and because his place of employment has a copy of it, his place of employment can provide a copy and sign a gov. form that it's really Mac's card. Mac will also need to show his driver's license and fill out a form and he'll have it in about 10 days. Cool. Not a big deal, right?

Sounds like all we have to do is replace his driver's license, which shouldn't be a big deal, right? I mean, replacing the Social Security card is so easy and that's the federal government so getting a state issued document should be a snap, right?

Fuck no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mac needs to prove his identity and proof of his residence. He actually has the 2 documents he needs to prove his residence but he doesn't have anywhere near what he needs to be able to prove his identity because one of the things he needs is a SOCIAL SECURITY CARD!!!!

So, according to the BMV web site, an residence of this state can go with him and vouch for his identity, but I would have to bring in documents. Now, remember, we are REPLACING a license that the state has already given him once. We aren't starting from scratch. So I have to have a valid driver's license from this state (I do); I have to provide 2 of the following: passport, birth certificate, social security card (I have all three); and I need to have 2 of the following: a utility bill with my name and current address that matches my Driver's license, a doc bill with my name and current address which must be issued within the last 60 days, a pay stub with current name and address issued within the last 60 days, and a bank statement issued within the last 60 days with my current address and name. Yes, I need all of that stuff to vouch that Mac is Mac.

How does anyone do this??? This is so stupid. I've had a run in with the BMV before and it just keeps pissing me off. Why did people go postal, and not BMVal? Makes me so mad because this is bureaucracy in action and we are helpless cogs in this particular government wheel. And all this has changed under the auspice of our current governor- I've done research and he's the asshat who changed all this. $%*)(&%(@#*! (<--- I want to swear a LOT, as you can tell) This is another reason I hate him and I swear if he run for POTUS in 2016 as is rumored then I will move anywhere for the time he's in office because he's a total menace.

Daddy-O and I have reminded Mac to put his wallet in the same place over and over again and he never does, whether it's at home or in his pocket. He's so freaked out about it. He's mad at himself, too. Yes, this is a hard life lesson, I know. And yes maybe in the future it will teach him to be more responsible but this is such a huge pain in the ass and a huge stressor. And he doesn't deal with with stress and he doesn't need any more of it in his life right now.

I wish the wallet fairy would pop up. Hell I wish we would just find it, even if it's just there in front of our faces.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Public school -vs- prison school

I subbed today and it was great. The teacher I subbed for teaches Spanish, French and Math- and I can't speak any of these. (Yes, I include math as a foreign language, thank you very much). She has great classes and it reminded me of things I miss about teaching in a public high school:
  • I don't have to worry if I lay a ball point pen down that it will be stolen so a student can use it for a homemade tattoo. Or I may let students use scissors and not have to count each pair because someone might decide to smuggle them out of the classroom to cut him/herself later.
  • If I ask them to get quiet, the generally do and without swearing at me or calling a bit**
  • 99% of them attempt to follow directions, and 100% of them do without throwing things at me
  • Heard one student say to a few others: "I'm a black belt in yoga and I'm I'm not afraid to use it" and the other kids GOT THE JOKE and laughed with him, not at him
  • I let a student to go her locker to get a book. She actually came back with the book, and in less than 10 seconds so she probably didn't do "bad stuff"
  • kids actually studied in study hall
  • no meetings were called during prep period to go over new policies about whether certain colors of girls' headbands are symbolic gang colors
Public school wasn't so bad... at least not today!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Favorite pictures I've taken

Feel free to caption these! Maybe a prize for the funniest?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Random Wednesday thoughts

Better living through medication.

My feet are cold and I think they won't warm up until July.

My under-wire snapped today; I'm pissed because it's an expensive bra, and not even a year old.

I want Cracker Barrel biscuits.

2.5 Men is funnier with Charlie Sheen. I said it before and I'll say it again. Ashton is cute, but Charlie is funny.

Mac called me a Word Ninja. He was thinking it was an insult but I sorta like it and wished he would've told me that before I created a Twitter account because that so would've been my moniker.

In the span of the last 24 hours we had snow, sleet, ice, rain, more sleet.... oh hell it was the apocalypse.

My nephew is the cutest little boy on earth and he gave me such good kissies the other day! Usually Fab Finn runs the other way screaming when he sees me (and he could when I see him again) but the other night he was all full of the lovin' for his Auntie.

I'm subbing on Friday for a French/ Spanish teacher. The only thing I can say in Spanish is "water" and "green shoes." My French is a bit more useful; I can say "shit" and "will you sleep with me tonight, please?"

I love Grape Soda. I do. There. I said it. So sue me.

On Saturday night I've been invited for a late supper with an old friend and I'm going. It also means I don't have to be home with Mac.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

She did NOT say that?! Oh yes she did!

I've decided I hate teenagers--- at least I do today.

I wrote a demerit on a kid today. Writing a demerit is about the worst punishment any teacher can dole out. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, it really is. As I've mentioned in the past, I work in a school that's like a reform school so the kids have to earn privileges. Getting demerits causes them to lose privileges. And won't let them participate in extra- curricular activities. And if they get enough demerits then they can end up in "Friday school" which is an extra 3 hours of school instead of having free time off. So, it really is a big deal. And if a kid is a brat or has a bad day or is a brat (did I mention if a kid is a brat?) then s/he can get a bunch of demerits during the day from various teachers for various things.

In the building there are teachers who are known to give out about 5-10 a DAY. I think that's stupid and to me it shows the teachers have either given up or, more likely, have ZERO classroom management skills. There are 4 steps a teacher can take before handing out a demerit and I think a demerit is the lazy way of disciplining a student. The other 4 things involve TIME and PATIENCE while a demerit is easy.

Because I'm the librarian I don't have 4 ways to discipline a kid because our discipline program is set up for teachers. And, frankly, it's really a non-issue because I very VERY rarely have issues with kids in a negative way.

I'm supposed to give demerits for overdue books but I usually do something different and use this as a last resort. I have overdue books at my public library and that doesn't usually ruin my entire week so I hate to do that to the students. I find if I have to give a demerit for an overdue book it's because I've asked the kids for the book about 3-4 times, I've given them written "reminders", I've asked their fellow housemates to help them find the book, I've done a locker search, and I've talked to the adults who oversee the house where the kids live. After all this, if the kid doesn't give me the book, then I will write a demerit. In the year I've done this job, I've given 7 demerits for overdue books. I will also give a demerit if kids behave in a shitty way toward me about their overdue books- I wrote 1 for this. So in one year and 2 months, I've given 8 demerits for overdue books and each kid knew it was coming.

Now, as far as writing a demerit because of a discipline problem... well. I've done it one other time. Yes, one. And today made twice.

The girl student was pissy with her classroom teacher and brought her crummy attitude into my library. And she was snippy to me and I let it go. "Feh" I thought. She got a book. She sat down. She read (or stared at the book, pretending to read). Her teacher gathered the class and girl student made some nasty comment under her breath (that I didn't hear) to her classroom teacher. She smacked her library book on the counter. I picked the book up and handed it back to her and said something like, "hey be nice to the books. They didn't do anything to you." And she proceeded to throw the book AT me (I ducked) and she yelled at me, "SUCK IT!!!" and she flounced out of the library.

Oh yeah, she said that.

Oh yeah, I wrote a demerit.

Guess who now has Friday school? She can suck that.

Mean Maggie

Monday, January 23, 2012

What the dead know

I have a great recipe of my late mother's for a sour cream coffee cake. I've waxed poetic about this coffee cake on multiple occasions over the last 5+years I've been blogging. This is some seriously good food.

I've made this cake several times over the years. I don't usually make it on just Christmas like my mother always did; I make just about any time I get a craving for it. It's an easy recipe to make and not super time consuming either so I don't struggle too much.

The worst part of making this is taking it out of the pan. I make it in an angel food cake pan. My mother's recipe suggests this pan or a Bundt. It also says that after about 15 minutes to slide a butter knife around the edge, and I do. And around the thingy in the center and I do that, too. And it says to flip it on a small drinking glass... I do not do that. I usually just flip it on a cooling rack and then turn it onto a fancy cake plate. I want it to drop perfectly onto the rack. I don't want it to break, crumble or crack. In all the times I've made this cake the last several years, it's come out PERFECTLY. Never have I messed it up. Ever. It's been picture perfect every time- like photograph it for a magazine perfect.

The last time I made it, I even commented to Daddy-O that I couldn't understand why my late mother always complained about hard it was to make. It's easy, I thought. I also said I couldn't understand why she always had it fall apart, more times than not, when mine always came out perfectly. He and I snickered about it, not in a mean way, and ate the picture looking cake I managed to always bake.

Until yesterday... damn it!

I made it for breakfast yesterday morning. I used the same ingredients that I always use. I'm not kidding on the 'same ingredients' thing either. I buy the same name brands all the time. I use the same bowls and measuring utensils. I measure every single item, every single time. I use the same mixer. I do the recipe steps in the same order. I use the same oven. I even use the same CAKE PLATE! I never deviate. I even have a special weird way of greasing the pan and I do it the same way. This is almost OCD/ ritualistic in the making of the sour cream coffee cake. I want to make it clear that I didn't buy different sour cream, or use old flour or eyeball an amount rather than measure or mix longer or shorter. I did it all the same as I always do.

Because I live in the Midwest, weather/ climate/ altitude doesn't really matter. And, to error on the side of over-explanation, I've made this all times of the day- morning, afternoon and evening. I've made it in all seasons: winter, summer, spring, fall. I've made it when it's been raining or snowing or hot or cold or humid. I've run the gambit and it's never, EVER been an issue.

So WTF happened today?

If I did it all the same way, with nothing amiss, then why did it crumble, split, crack and fall out in chunks? I'll tell you why:

My other!

She heard me brag on myself, and gently razz her memory about it, and then she sabotaged it.

Stop laughing! I'm serious! I didn't see a ghost or apparition or anything of the supernatural sort, but I think she 'heard' me say what I said about it being perfect and then decided to wreck it the next time I made it. Which she did. She never did like to be teased about her cooking...

Teach me to be all full of myself!!!

Hey, it's the only logical and plausible explanation of the wrecked sour cream coffee cake because until yesterday, I always made it perfectly. Every good streak comes to an end... but not usually by virtue of my dead mother!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kitchen Essentials

I like cooking. Actually I love cooking. I wish I had more money so I could get more creative, and I wished in a bigger city so I had access to a larger pool of funky ingredients. But regardless of foodstuffs or location, there are certain things I need in my kitchen no matter what. I've found that if I live here, the Wild West or just anyplace where I've had a kitchen, I find I want the same things over and over again.

Every single kitchen must have aluminum foil. I use this all the time- in the oven and out. I cover cooking casseroles or tent it over stuff. Or wrap up left overs- whatever. I find if I'm doing something in the kitchen and am out of foil, I'm at a loss. And thankfully I can buy rolls of it for a $1 at Dollar Tree!!!

I think every kitchen needs 4-5 mixing bowls in various sizes, and at least one should be glass so it can go in the microwave. I find when I bake I need one for dry ingredients and one for wet and then always one to whisk the eggs in before I add to the rest of the recipe. Mixing bowls are a must- and lots of them. I like to stack them, too, like the Russian Matryoshka dolls.

Every kitchen needs multiple amounts of 9x13 pans, preferably glass ones with lids. I like to make a pan of brownies and a casserole at the same time so I need at least 2 pans. I like to have a few extra just to be on the safe side. I like the Pyrex Portables the best. And they stack nicely, too.

Wooden spoons and rubber spatulas are necessary. I like LOTS of wooden spoons. I used them for everything. I like that they can be used with any sort of pan- glass, non stick, plastic. The wooden spoon doesn't scratch anything. (And it's good to smack your kids with, too, or so my mom believed!!)

Tupperware containers are a must for every kitchen. And it doesn't have to be the Tupperware name brand; I like the disposable Glad containers or even Rubbermaid or Ziploc. It doesn't matter but I like those to store leftovers or use them to carry my lunch. And they're also good for things like paperclips, rubberbands, and other desk/ office supplies. Or for sewing or scrapbook stuff.

Non-stick spray like Pam. No kidding. Love it. I've been cooking and been out of it and I've stopped in the middle of meal prep to go and buy some.

I'm a firm believer in bottle scrub brushes. I clean everything with these.

I like lots of towels because I believe in kitchen cooties so I like to use a different one to dry dishes and another one to dray hands and another to wipe counters and another... well, you catch my drift. I also have several sets of measuring spoons and measuring cups.

The best thing of all, that I think every kitchen needs, is a Kitchen Aid Mixer. I do not have one of these but Daddy-O has one. I use it all the time. I have no idea how I lived all these years without one. OMG- it makes everything easier. I never want to use a hand held mixer again. It's an amazing "gadget". I might never move out of Daddy-O's house because of the Kitchen Aid Mixer. And allegedly there are attachments like a pasta maker! And the best part of all- these suckers come in PINK! Once, a long time ago, Curly said she'd buy me a pink one for a wedding gift if I ever married again. I often date a man and wonder if he's worth a mixer. Seriously. And the bowl has a handle! I have to say that other mixers are study like this and are pink but in this case, I honestly believe that the Kitchen Aid name brand/ product is necessary- no generic or knock offs. I love this thing.

So, other than food, I think these are the essentials that make cooking easier and fun. I think I'm gonna go and make something.... I'm hungry!

Chef Maggie

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The boob-tube

I'm such a complete and total slug and part of this is making me a TV junkie. We are 21 days into the new year and I've NOT read A SINGLE BOOK but I'm totally killing on my TV viewing.

I'm a total Criminal Minds junkie. I love Derek Morgan. I want to grow up and be Penelope Garcia. And I have a thing of Dr. Spencer Reid. I DVR this show on a regular basis and watch them all the time. My goal is to watch every episode but I'm doing it the poor woman's way: on cable rather than renting the whole series. (Damn Netflix for not having this!) Thank goodness that A&E has CM marathons on daily.

I've been watching a House marathon, too. And I found that the canceled TV show Without a Trace is on sometimes so I also DVR that. Mondays is 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly. Tuesdays is Glee and New Girl. Wednesday is Criminal Minds. Thursdays is Big Bang Theory. I also DVR Once Upon a Time- I have no idea when it's on each week because I DVR it- so why bother (wow, DVR has made me even a MORE lazy tv watcher. Ironic? Pathetic.) Lately I've been home on Friday nights so I watch CSI:NY and Blue Bloods. I watch Big Bang reruns And if I can find 2.5 Men with Sheen I'll watch that. And reruns of West Wing- oh I LOVE West Wing!!!

And if I'm totally honest I just figured out we have Starz and Encore. Oh, holy shit. And we have Netflix. I am officially a TV junkie. What's a book, again??

I think my back hurts from sitting (okay so I don't really sit. I sort of Cleopatra lay across the couch) so long. Is that even possible?

At least I haven't caved to reality television. I haven't sunk that low. Yet.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Puppy Love

Sometimes when I feel sad I like to go to the pet store and pet puppies. I used to go read Hallmark cards to laugh but the Hallmark store in my town closed so now I go to a pet store and I pet puppies. Now, I don't mean 'pet the puppies' as a euphemism for masturbate. And I don't mean "pet the puppies" like Lennie in Of Mice and Men. I mean I just like to go to a nearby pet store and pet puppies.

Research says that people with a pet live longer than non-pet owners. Dogs are brought to nursing homes because petting the dogs is supposed to be good for the residents. Petting a dog is supposed to relieve stress and give feelings of comfort. I believe that.

And yes, I understand the irony that I'm not really a dog lover. (No I'm not a dog hater either but I'm not really a 'pet' person. Or a baby person. But that's a different story of another post, another day). But when I feel sad I like to go and pet the puppies because usually it does make me feel better. (I have to make sure I don't let my mind wonder to the idea that the puppies are in cages and I can't set them free or take one home because that would defeat the purpose.)

Yesterday I went and pet a boxer. OMG she was the cutest thing and had the sweetest temperament. She was in her cage and was all shaking and trembling and I held her for about 2 minutes and she was calm and nestled up against me and gave little puppy kisses on my chin. She had the saddest and cutest face I've ever seen. I had to laugh to myself because I think she looked like me. They say people look like their pets... Ah, well no. I didn't get the puppy (Daddy-O would make me homeless because he has a NO DOG rule and because the dog was AKC registered which made her cost $249 plus tax). She was a blonde dog with very little black markings. And her face was really wrinkly and saggy. Okay, so I'm not blonde or wrinkly (yet) or saggy (well, my face isn't saggy yet, but all other parts are questionable). She was so sweet and the clerk said she's been like that, such a sweet, quiet dog.

I think when I move into my own place (again! someday!) I'm going to get a dog. Part of me thinks I should do a basset hound rescue dog. I want to rescue a dog and I like bassets, especially their size, coloring and floppy ears. And I like that usually they're unable to get on the furniture. I have a soft spot for Bernese Mountains dogs because a friend has one and she is the sweetest, nicest dog I've ever met in my life, and everything I've ever read says that's the nature of that breed. I like chocolate labs but a Lab is a high energy dog and I'm not sure I could keep up with, but they're so sweet. And I love English setters; my great-aunt & great-uncle had one and I LOVED that dog. And the Wild West made me a Bluetick Coonhound lover. Who knows what breed I'll end up with?

I do know that I want a dog that's going to be medium to large in size, none of those little yippee things or something so small I might step on it and squash it. It will have to be a dog that can be in a crate while I'm gone during the day. It can't need a huge yard. I want a lap dog. No biting, easy to train. And I think I'm weird because I don't want a puppy. I'd be good with an older dog.

When the time comes, I'll do my research to find a dog breed that fits my lifestyle and environment. And then I'll go shopping and of course, I gotta let the dog pick me. Until then I'll just keep going to the pet store and pettin' the puppies.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting the books on the shelf

I ordered 66 new books and have been working on processing them because my kids LOVE new books. I have to keep the new books hidden during processing or the kids will come in between every period, asking if they're ready. I love that they love new books. I love new books, too, so I totally understand!

Processing these new books is time consuming and tedious. Because I'm in a school library and I'm lucky to even have money to buy books so I won't complain, but none of the programs I use even "talk" to each other so I have to do repeated steps.
  • After unpacking the books, I have to enter them all into our computer system so I have an inventory of my collection, and so they're able to circulate (I have to enter all the data like author, title, ISBN number, a bar code number, the price, and subject)
  • print the bar code labels and apply them to call the correct books
  • place a spine sticker to delineate between fiction and non
  • place a spine sticker for genre
  • stamp with our "property" stamp in three places and also place a "date due" slip in each
  • cover all the books with either laminate or slip covers
  • check a different database to see if the books are part of the Reading Counts programs; If they are then I have to sticker the spine AND print a point code label AND affix each label to the correct book

That's just to get them all circulation ready!! I have a student helper for 3 hours a day but she can't do anything on the computer so I do that work while she does all the other steps. I'm happy to say that the only thing she and I have left to do is cover them. I'd like to have them all shelf ready by Tuesday morning since that's "library day."

When I order new books, I need to focus on what the kids want or would like. This is an interesting process. I've talked to different librarians and there doesn't seem to be any perfect way to order books for a high school library.

I always make sure I order books that are part of a series.We have some series that aren't popular and we have the first couple books but others are HUGE so I make sure I stay on top of when the "next one" comes out. I order what's popular among teens and there are publisher magazines to help with that. I watch a couple best seller lists. There's a good list for librarians that's called "adult books for young adults" so I buy from there. Of course I take student recommendations!!! They give me a title and 99% of the time I can order that book. I want to keep a collection of books that the kids WANT to read. Because we're a prison type of school and our students live here, there's LOTS of time to read so I want to have things they're interested in.

Also because we're a prison school my students want to read about things they know. And that's sad. My biggest requests are books about drugs, gangs, rape, sexual abuse, killing, abuse, booze, cutting and suicide. Yeah. And what's really scary and sad, is that I have a large collection of fiction in all these subject areas. Sadly enough, authors are writing it because it sells. My kids also like "normal" teen stuff like sports, romance, vampires, sci-fi, Stephen King (he seems to be his own genre).

Three things frustrate me about teen lit:

  1. everything seems to be a series. There are more series for teens than stand alone novels and that's a financial nightmare for librarians
  2. vampires are all the rage and kids seems to hear about these books and want to read them. Gee thanks Twilight. There's Morganvillie Vampires, Vampire Academy, Vladamir Tod, Blue Bloods, Immortals, and House of Night series. This is just what I can think of off the top of my head. And this is what I have in MY library!!!
  3. It's hard for me to find stuff that boys want to read. I do LOTS of research for them.

I always have to remember that I can't order books for ME. Okay, that seems like a nobrainer but as a bibliophile, it's easy to sit and read a hundred book reviews in a month and suddenly have a list of books "I" want to read. I have to make sure that every book that comes in is something the KIDS will want.

I have to say that I think I ordered books for "me" once. I ordered the Steve Jobs bio. I do want to read it and I've had 3 kids ask for it. I know it has about 700 pages so I probably won't have a lot of kids actually read it but I will. The other book I bought is The Night Circus. I started this book at our public library and didn't get it finished and WANT to finish it so I ordered it. There are a lot of things in that novel that will appeal to my students but I really got it for me. I'm bad. I won't make it a habit and I am sorry and I'll probably buy $25 worth of books out of my own pocket to make up for it at some point, but for now.... well, yeah. Shame on me.

The other thing that I found that was funny is that a kid asked me if we had the Ranger's Apprentice (by John Flanagan) books. We didn't. I did some research and decided to order the series. I had them on the counter and hadn't gotten them hidden for processing yet. I am NOT kidding- I had 9 boys say they read those and they were AWESOME. WHAT?!? NINE?!? I told all those guys that they need to think of things they've read and keep the recommendations coming. Those 9 guys told other guys and now that series has a wait list. I feel like I should order 2 copies of each of the first two books to get them circulating before they lose interest. There are 11 of these so far so they should keep busy for awhile. And volume 3 is on back-order! Ack!

So Monday I'll be a book covering maniac!

your bibliophile,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's new in the world of art?

After Christmas break we're back at school and I'm ready to get the Art Club going and I know the kids are because they ask me every day "when's art club?" I've sort of put them off because I've been trying to get a meeting with my principal to see how much money I have left in my budget. I finally said 'screw it' and planned a bunch of stuff and "cc-ed" him on the email and figure if there's no money to spend, he'll let me know. Right?

In this day and age where art programs are cut (ours was hence an ART CLUB) and music is cut and hell, at a school in Ohio lunch was cut, I'm not complaining but it would be nice to know if I have any money or if I need to be... more creative. I know we have a grant but it requires matching funds. I know we have a second grant that can be the 1st grants matching funds but I've yet to see any of these numbers. I just keep on spending. Guess he'll stop me if I blow it?

So the art club agenda:
  • Duct tape wallets- can be for guys or girls.
  • Finger paint replicas of Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night, which is one of my favorite activities to do with kids (this is my after school tomorrow idea)
  • use Shrinky-Dinks to make jewelry
  • jewelry making with beading, felting and metal working
  • 'professional' looking valentines (think card workshop from Archiver's type of stuff)
  • Necktie Purses
  • paperbag scrapbooks
  • make trivet coasters
  • pottery- using the wheel, paint, the kiln, etc...
  • design a bulletin board

The above are things I want to do before spring break. I think it's all doable. I'm able to do everything on the list except 2 and the pottery and jewelry making will require a guest speaker which is fun for the kids. They need to be exposed to others and it's always nice to have someone else come do the work!

One thing I am doing is pulling 4 boys who are "artists" and giving them a special project. I'm going to give them each a ceiling tile and then see if they can reproduce a famous book cover on it. If this is successful, then they will go in the ceiling of the library and it can be an ongoing project. (I picked 4 boys who've shown some extra talent and want to really push them to see how well they can do...)

If I get ambitious I'm thinking I might show the kids how to make a quilt square. Then they can either make a pillow or a purse out of them. OR!!!!!!!!!!!! I could see if they would make a quilt square, donate the square back to the school and then we could make a quilt (lap, full or even a wall hanging) and then give it to a charity or donate it silent auction style to raise MORE money for the art club... I'm not sure if I'm ready to bite that off, though.

So, I'm getting my 'art' back on so all should be fun. I can't wait to see what creations the kids come up with! I'll be posting pictures!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This weather sucks

Sunny, cloudy, snow, rain, thunderstorms complete with lightening, wind, 58 degrees, 21 degrees... this is all the weather I've experienced. Today. Since I got up this morning at 5:20am, being awakened by lightening and rolling thunder, it's been a weather roller coaster. And frankly, I am so sick of this.

I wish it would either get cold and stay that way, or stay warm. This up and down crap sucks. And I have no idea how to dress each day. One day I leave in trousers with a turtleneck and a jacket and by the afternoon I'm sweaty and can wear short sleeves. Or I leave in the morning, like today, in a tank with a matching cardigan, trousers, and heels and it's storming- NOT the snow sort- and 59 degrees- and I was wearing a raincoat. Then when I leave work it's spitting snow and about 29 degrees. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!

I throw my hands in the air and bellow a barbaric yowl!

It's this weather that causes people to get colds. And to be crabby.

And who can set an inside temperature? Heat high or low? 68 is good in the morning and we're freezing in the afternoon so have to turn it up to 72 (not at home, Daddy-O! it's still 60 in the house just because I'm pissy and angry with Mac) and by the time it gets warm, it's time to go home. My feet have been cold for 11 days.

And if it can thunderstorm and then snow in the same day... well, anyone who doesn't believe in global warming can kiss my ass!

And as I type this blog post, it's snowing and blowing. And all the rain is icy so the roads are slick. I think the only thing good about this is a possible snow day or a 2 hour delay tomorrow.

Really, that even pisses me off. I lived in the Wild West and we didn't have snow days. First, I could know my car would be cleared off, as well as my drive way because my students made sure that happened. The road crews started in as soon as the first flake flew. I could wear practical, warm clothes to work like jeans and boots and be comfortable all day long- no cold feet. We didn't have this "wait for the phone call" moment every morning, and there was no making up the days in June and bitching about the DOE and moving graduation day.

Okay so the weather is making me cranky. (Actually Mac being an asshole is making me cranky and I'm taking it out on the weather.) I live in the Midwest and winter is winter and it needs to act like it, damn it!

Weather, schmeather,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Who sang that? Who starred in what?

Sometimes when I watch movies, TV or listen to music I start to think I have one foot in the Old Camp, and I don't really like it.

I hate it when I see a "famous" actress or actor and I have no idea who this person is, what they starred in or why they're even considered talented. My students mention an album or artist and I have no idea who it is.

I'm not firmly living in Old Camp yet though, because usually I can figure out who these people are if they kids keep talking and explaining. I think the fact there's so much I don't like to watch or listen to so I know it excludes me. My students keep me in the loop and I read Entertainment Weekly which helps me. I think.

It just makes me feel old. I was watching the Golden Globes last night and so many actresses and actors of my generation are now playing parts that are usually for older people. Yes, that means the people of my generation are old. Instead of being the hot leading ladies they're moms. Hey, hot moms, but still moms. Or grandmothers. That's the things that sucks; when my idols are playing grandma. Ick. (Yes and I know that technically I am old enough to be a grandmother because Mac is 18...). And there were a bunch of kids I didn't know at all- Mac explained and then it "clicked" but.... well, yeah.

As far as music goes... well, I find I say things like "that's noise not music" or "turn that crap off" or "Turn it down; it's too loud" or "who????????????????"

I just hate anything that makes me feel old. I really do. And right now I feel like I'm entering the world of strangeness and... possible Old Camp.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

I love the Christmas Tree!

The Christmas tree is still up and it's all my fault. I LOVE Christmas trees. I do. Daddy-O was going to take it down before he left 'on vacation'. He was going to take it down on Christmas day or the day after and I couldn't bear it so I promised I could take care of it. Then he left a few weeks later and he was going to take it down and again, I got him to leave it and promised it would be down before he comes home- bwahahahahahahaha- and he believed me!

I'm notorious for leaving my tree up for.... well, for long after Christmas is come and gone. And Chinese New Year is over. And often Valentine's Day is over and my tree is still up. I think Christmas trees are so pretty and just magical. They make beautiful nightlights. The world seems kinder when I can sit in a room with no other lights than those on the Christmas tree. The ornaments are usually reminders of fun times from the past. I just like a Christmas Tree.

One time, when I lived in Northern Civilization, I had my tree up. It was beautiful that year. My condo had a fireplace and my whole house was perfect the whole holiday season. I even had a holiday open house that year. Things were good and like I said, I'm a fan of the Christmas tree. So, one day, many weeks after Christmas, there was a knock at my door and three girlfriends showed up with food and drinks! They said we were having a party. O thought that sounded great! I was game for a party! They said it was a tree "untrimming" party. Well. Ok. They said it was time. So we undecorated the tree and had a party... with a St. Patrick's Day theme since it was March 17...

The other time I think my tree might have been up too long was.... well... I almost hate to admit this. Let's see... I moved from the Wild West back here to Civilization in December 2008. As a welcome home gift and surprise, Daddy-O and Curley put up a beautiful pink Christmas tree for me. I finally took that down... in September 2011. Hey don't judge! It was pink! With high heel shoes as decorations! And it had a tiara as a tree topper! And it was pink! It made me feel happy!

So... the tree is still up. I should probably find out when Daddy-O is coming back. I hope he gives me a couple weeks of a heads up.

I've never had the chance to hide Easter Eggs in the Christmas tree, though...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

21. Subscribe to a new magazine and read it before the next one arrives

This is also a boring post. Warning!

I've subscribed to a new magazine and have read it before the next one arrived. Back in Sept. I subscribed to Harper's Bazaar and I haven't had any problem reading the next issue before the new one gets here.

This used to be a problem for me so when I made this goal I thought it would be a big deal. But of late, meaning for the last several months, I've been rather scattered so it's been very easy to read magazines... even easier than reading a book, sad to say. I like to buy 50cent magazines when I go to Half price books and they have a tendency to pile up around here (Mac said when I finally move out and live in my own place and since I'm single I won't be the crazy cat lady, but I'll be the crazy magazine and he'll find my dead body buried under a stack of Elles, Vogues, In Styles, and Ws. He said they should have a special edition of Hoarders for people who are magazine me). I get them in huge stacks and can't always get them read in a timely manner. This was another reason I thought I would set this goal.

As a matter of fact, I can take it one step further. I subscribed to a bunch of magazine for the school library and I've taken to reading these during my lunch hour. So, while I read my one I get at home, I also manage to read Entertainment Weekly each week as well as the monthly copy of In Style.

So I met this goal with my own magazine plus 2 extra! As Charlie Sheen would say, "I Win!"


19. Leave a couple books around with inscriptions that they're free to those who find them

I left a few books for strangers. What I didn't think through was that I might not see people take these books. That didn't really matter to me, but I thought other than writing "I left books" there would be nothing else I could say.

I wrote on the inside cover of the first one, something like, "This is a free book. I read it and thought it was great. Take it with you and I hope you enjoy it, too!" Then I signed it "Maggie the Bibliophile."

I left one in a Starbucks and no one touched it for the 2 hours I was there. I have no idea what finally happened to it. I hope someone finally took it. I left One Day, which was recently made into a movie but it didn't have the movie cover so I hope someone took it. I looked on the shared shelf when I last time I was getting coffee and it wasn't there.

Another book I left on a bench in the mall. I sat for 45 minutes and a few people looked at it when they walked by but no one took it, at least not while I was there. It was an Anita Shreve book. I, again, have no idea what finally happened. I hope the janitor didn't throw it in the trash.

On the Shreve book, I stuck a sticky note on the cover that said "FREE BOOK" but it still just laid there for 45 minutes or longer.

Well, I did it. Gee, this wasn't a very exciting "40 before 40" entry... I need to get better at these.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Online education

Mac is taking online classes at a local community college and it's been an interesting experience, and it's only week 1!!! Right now he has 2 classes online and one will end at the 8 week mark and another will start at the 8 week mark. (He's also taking 3 face to face classes at the local campus).

Online is interesting. This is his first time with anything like this, and I've never taken an online course either. I'm curious about learning how it all works and Mac has just given me his username and password so I can log in and poke around and see stuff.

He did all the assignments for the first week for both classes. He emailed his online instructors, too, telling them it's his first online experience and he wanted to make sure he did everything and was understanding everything so it will be interesting to see how they respond. He doesn't plan to do this weekly or anything, but he's trying to be safe rather than sorry (and I hope he has instructors who will understand and consider this a conscientious student rather than a stupid one).

Now that being said, I think the structure of the courses are interesting. He's taking Econ 101 and an Intro to College 101, which is required.

The Econ 101 is awesome. This instructor has it laid out beautifully and easily. Things are straightforward and simple. All explanations make sense and all the assignments are clear. The folders and tabs are all labeled in a way that makes complete sense. There's not a lot of extraneous information to sort through to get to the assignments, quizzes, presentations, projects and tests. It's blunt and ORGANIZED.

Then there's the Intro to College class, which is completely OPPOSITE of Econ. Ugh! This class even LOOKS like a nightmare. The instructor blathers and has "explanations" in the middle of an assignment. It's like train of consciousness thought. And that train derails. She rambles and it's unorganized. The folder labels don't coincide with what she calls them; for example she refers to the current assignments will be found in Week 1 folder and then it's actually labeled Session 1. I realize this might not be a big deal but for someone who has never taken an online class, it's a little confusing when everything else is all new and feels confusing. She highlights in colors, but to me what she highlights doesn't make sense. She also says "cut and paste blah blah blah" and that information is not "cut and pasteable" because of a security site. Everything is scattered. I think this class could be a nightmare just because she isn't organized.

I think I would like an online class if it's organized. Otherwise, I think it would be horrible. When I look at his Intro class I want to print everything and check stuff off. It makes me nervous. The Econ class, on the other hand, is just how an online class should be, so I think!

I hope Mac does well and I plan on keeping a close eye on this process for his sake, and for my own peace of mind...


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help! I can't read!

I'm struggling here folks, with the reading. It's already Jan. 12 and I haven't read even one book this year.I just can't seem to focus and that's a first for me. I've never been able to NOT read. I have a whole shelf of books that I'm excited about but my brain just won't cooperate. It's not that I haven't been trying...

I have one book by one of my fav author, Christopher Moore, that I never read: Dirty Job. And I've picked it up to read several times and just can't get interested.

I tried 2 different books by Anita Shreve and neither could hold my attention and one I gave away because it's a time period piece and I know I will NEVER read it. The other I just put back on the shelf: The Last Time They Met.

I tried a book called Between, Georgia was I wasn't ready to focus on mother/daughter relationships with the Southern drama twist, but it's a "good" sounding book and I know I will read it. No focus for The Sound and the Fury. I know I want to read Loving Frank and it's supposed to be wonderful so I stopped it because again, I know I'll read it sometime and I want to at least to try to enjoy it. Ditto Peace Like a River.

Then I discovered that the Harlan Coben book I have is an ongoing character and I've never read any in the series so I donated it to the school library.

So right now I'm "read"-less. I'm watching a lot of television. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't think it's the type of books I'm trying since I've tried genres all over the place. I think it's just me.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012- the year of the JOB

I've started job hunting with a vengeance. I just cannot financially, mentally, emotionally do this any more, and I need a full time job with benefits and some serious cash. I can't keep working 4-6 jobs and still not have it all come together- even though I'll probably still need a part time job after I get a full time to just get myself out of this financial hole I've dug.

I stayed at Alcatraz because I love it and I honestly thought it would lead to something full time but it just isn't. I thought this is where God led me but I think not. Guess if I can think He brought me there I can think He's telling me to heck with it. I also thought ITSam and I might get married and I could still work there and be on his insurance and financially we would've been fine. That plan obviously didn't work. So, I've kicked job hunting into gear.

Between last Friday night and Monday afternoon I applied for 17 jobs, all of which I found on Career Builder. These are all over my home state, except for one and it was in Nashville. Of these 17, they are all things I am qualified to do, and all but one are outside of education. I've decided I want full time, out of education, with health benefits, NOT sales, and I have a minimum salary requirement. I will work any shift and I don't mind weekends or evenings.

Since I did this, I got 2 flat out rejection letters. One was pretty generic and the other told me they had some better qualified of the 500+ applicants they received. WTF?!? 500 PLUS applicants? Who said the economy was looking up???? Wow...

I heard from 2 people. One hiring director said the position was just part time, even though the ad was for full time. Crossed that one off. One lady said my salary requirement was hiring than what the position offered but she was passing my resume to her area manager who would have an opening next week. So... just a hurry up and wait there.

I haven't heard from any of the others yet.

As I apply for jobs, I see one company might have 3 or 4 positions I'm interested in but I have to fill out a separate application for every job. UGH! I'm doing it but it sure would be nice if there was a button to click to apply for them in bulk.

I also wish I was an engineer, in the medical field, knew something about online marketing strategies, truck driving, or knew something about computers because after I sort out the crappy jobs ("work from home!", " online full time now!", " get paid to work from home!") and then toss out the military positions and the part time positions, the bulk of what's left is in one of those fields. And I am so not qualified for any of that.

Africa is off the table right now. I got an email from my cousin who worked for the FBI who suggested that because of "internal strife" and "unstable government structures" and "US military predictions" that I stay out of there... while I combed the international news looking for headlines regarding these things in the specific areas I was looking at I came up short. I emailed her back and she "knows things" the rest of us don't. Guess I'm crossing Africa off the list for now!

So far, I've stayed here in my home state but AlaskaSam suggested I apply for a job in Anchorage. I am. I will. I'm going to. Tonight, I think. That could be... interesting.

I really, REALLY want to work in Ireland or England but I have no idea how to go about that. It's on my list to learn.

Operation JOB is in full swing. If any of you have any connections to anything that I might be able to do, email me with specifics please!!!

It's time to move on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

I was thinking about the Wild West again together for several reason. One, the huge snow storm that's headed toward us on Thursday or Friday reminds me of weather in the Wild West. And I loved all the cold and snow there. Something about that was just perfect and didn't seem so inconveniencing. The other reason I was thinking about it was because AlaskaSam sent me some pictures of all the snow in his yard and told me about more that's coming and it seems appealing. The last reason I was thinking about the Wild West is because Daddy-O changed his desktop picture to a horse drawn sleigh in the snow.

When I lived there one of the cool things that happened was my horse drawn sleigh ride experience. There was a really OLD sled outside of town in a field and I went out there and had some pictures taken my first Christmas. I was wearing my pink boots and a pink cowboy hat. My intent was to use them as a Christmas card but I never did. Anyway, I told some of my students I did that and they saw the pictures and thought how cool they were because that was stuff they never thought about. A sled to them is typical winter transportation and didn't think I would think of it as a novelty.

With that in mind, when we had a huge snow a few weeks before Christmas, I suddenly had banging on my front door on Sunday evening. When I opened it, there were about 7 kids standing on the stoop giggling, They "caroled" and then told me there was a surprise. They stepped aside and there was a horse drawn sleigh. They were going around town with hay in flatbeds of pickup trucks and riding there and they took turns riding in the horse drawn sleigh. They were with a youth group from a local church and they were also my students. It was my turn to ride in a REAL horse drawn sleigh, not some old abandoned one outside of town. So I got dressed and the bundled me up in warm blankets and then we rode around town singing carols for about 30 minutes.

The horse clip-clopped and the owner/ driver had tied sleigh-bells to the reins and so we jingled all the way. It was exhilarating and magical. It was a complete Currier and Ives experience. They even let me sip hot chocolate out of their thermos. We laughed and giggled and sang. It was cold and the smell of crisp air, and the horse whinnied, and I couldn't have experienced anything better than that moment.

When they dropped me off, all the kids shouted "Marry Christmas" as they rode out of sight.

We haven't had any significant snow yet this year but I have hope. I'm sure I won't be going on a horse drawn sleigh ride when and if we do, but I think I'll always remember this night when the snow falls (or when it's supposed to).

One my best memories ever...

Monday, January 9, 2012

About time things look up for him

So mac is making some better choices and good things are happening. After the rough fall of school, the bit of trouble that did not result anything legal- than you God- and then the quitting of school and the miserable time trying to find a job, he seems to have it together... as of now.

He enrolled in a local community college and is taking 16 hours. He's got three classes online and 3 classes in person. These classes started this week and he's already done all the work for all three online classes.

He also finally got a job at Taco Bell and his first day is Wednesday. He'll probably get around 20 hours a week. That's a very good thing.

He's seeing an awesome counselor and several of his friends that he's now spending time with seem to have their collective shit together, so that seems to help him make better choices.

HE wants to make good grades. HE wants to buy a car. HE wants to pen a savings account. This is all awesome and are his choices; nothing that I threatened him with or told him he has to do.

After the entire hellish autumn we went through with him, it's good to see such positive steps forward that are HIS steps. I'm being supportive and shutting up.

All good steps...
Mac's Mom,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Shop Teacher

We hired a new English teacher on a one year contract because we had one go on a year long maternity leave. Well, this woman we hired is totally and completely wonderful, awesome and amazing. And she just took a new job and is leaving us.

Our teaching staff is very close minded and conservative and sorta angry. I don't really have a bond with any teacher except with the one who is living. I'm very close to one of the secretaries but otherwise I'm pretty disjointed from the teaching staff. So I am REALLY going to miss the departing teacher.

I've been missing the Wild West lately, a lot. I've missed different things about the area and people, but I miss many of the people I taught with. My best Wild West friend was the Science teacher (she's since moved away, too) and we had a wonderful time in and out of work, even if we spend a lot of time kvetching about the students. I really liked our librarian, the Business teacher and the history teacher. Our home ex teacher was pretty nice, and I like several of the elementary school teachers. And I just adored our shop teacher. Even if he was an alcoholic.

Yes, the shop teacher was an alcoholic. He was this short, loud, dirty old man, actually. Never a dirty old man with the students, but he was with the adult females. I don't think he'd ever follow through with anything, but he liked to leer and talk. I liked him, anyway. He had great stories to tell- fictitious or real we never really knew- and he had a good sense of humor. He wasn't afraid to stand up to our boss, either.

On Wednesday nights we had "Fine art Meetings" and any teacher who wanted to attend was welcome, which involved eating dinner and drinking at the bar. I'm not sure how "art" it was but it sure was fine. He was a real hoot! If he had enough scotch in him, he would tell everyone to watch out because he was on hour 42 of his 36 hour Cialis.

He was a good shop teacher. He let the kids make anything they wanted and he made sure they were safe and knew how to use the equipment. Yes he was lose with rules and policies and well... everything, but the kids who came out of his classes could build a house if they had to. One girl made a solid cherry wood roll top desk for her father. Kids used the lathe and made bowls and other dishes. Seriously, he let the kids make anything, even if meant he was standing in the shop room with a cigarette dangling from his mouth showing them how to use a scroll saw..

He also had a HUGE heart. He would do anything for anyone. He made all the sets for our school plays and never charged the drama department anything. He made stuff for folks all over town, including kitchen cabinets. He let the kids make me a solid oak bookcase and then delivered it to my house. It's not his fault the kids stole the wood from the Catholic church construction project. It's his fault that when he learned they did that he didn't make them take it back... *ahem* He made shelves for my classroom and a cool wooden bowl for me. When my mom died and I ended up being gone for 2 weeks, he went to the Superintendent and told her I could have as many of his sick days as I needed so I could get paid for every day off I needed, whether it was two weeks or 2 months.

I think he liked me because I didn't judge him. I let him be and liked him and went to fine arts meetings most Wednesday. I didn't care that he was drunk by 7pm most nights and a few of those the bartender called me to help Shop Teacher home. He was a funny old guy, with a big heart, and some sad past life stuff. His wife was a sprite and she didn't take gruff from anyone- she was a hoot, too! I'd write his lesson plans for him each week because he didn't know how to turn on a computer and didn't even know the DOE had state shop standards. He'd write down what he was going to teach the kids that week and I'd type it up, so it looked all nice and formal. Oh, and he'd usually write a couple words on a block of wood, give it to a kid to give to me. That's his "rough" draft.

I'm missing him along with the rest of the Wild West, and I hope he's doing great and enjoying retirement!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Things that totally irritate me

  • Our Internet at work is running about like old fashioned dial-up. This makes doing anything slow, arduous and just down right frustrating
  • Mac got a job 4 weeks ago at Taco Bell. He was told to fill out paperwork online and that took about a week because the URL didn't work and then one day it did. After he got it done, the manager was on vacation for a week. When she came back she said the corporate computers crashed and it would take a week to find all his paperwork. He called back a week later and she said it was all found and he was good to go so he had to call their General Manager. He called her and she said she would be contact with him in a week because she was going on vacation. For Goodness Sake, this is not brain surgery!
  • Working 4 jobs and I still have no money, no health insurance and feel like shit about myself all the time
  • Bill collectors. I realize I'm overdue on a bill and they said I had to pay a million dollars a month and so we negotiated down to a payment I could afford. EXCEPT they wanted 1 full payment up front, today, which I couldn't do. I had agreed to pay them 1/2 million$ a month starting in February and they were willing to cancel the whole thing and tell the company they were working with that I couldn't do it. Now, they were willing to throw out guaranteed money because they they couldn't wait until 1/16 for the first payment; it had to be today. Stoooopid arsehats. The late bill is totally my fault but I am WILLING to pay it but I need a few days to get the payment. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
  • having to return my Nook to pay for my car repairs
  • The university Mac quit last October didn't withdraw him; it's a paperwork glitch, I guess. He's trying to start classes at a community college on Monday but they can't give him financial aid until that happens.
  • having a period
  • health care in the US
  • Mac's bad attitude. He created this mess he's dealing with so he doesn't need to be cranky with me if he's so unhappy.
  • pantyhose
  • when networks cancel a tv show and the viewers don't know; it just never turns up on the appoint time and day, and I have to go Google it to see if it will be returning. Yes, Prime Suspect is cancelled.
  • when networks take a show I LOVE and split it into 2 seasons, giving it a stupid hiatus, like what happens with Glee and House
  • that the nearest Starbucks is 20 minutes away and the nearest Diary Queen is 15 minutes. I want both. Now.
  • dating

cranky Maggie

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ended the year with a date, started the year with a date...

Since the 2008, I've averaged 2 dates a year. Some of those dates turned into temporary long term relationships but those started with dates nonetheless and if I go back, I seriously average 2 dates a year.

In 2011 I dated ITSam for the first 10 months and then had the okay date on New Year's Eve day so I count that as 2 dates in 2011, even though I had a whole bunch of them with ITSam. Then I had another date on New Years Day, so one of my dates for the year is already over and done with. I have about 11 months and 3 weeks to have another one so I don't break my streak (though this is one streak I could break and live happily.).

I've been thinking about dating and it's weird.

I don't think I'm good at it and I don't like all the "get to know you stuff" over and over again because I just wait for it to fall apart and then when I do get comfortable and let my guard down and have fun, then it falls apart. I hate being judged and that's what dating is- people judging and sizing each other up. I hate that I feel like I can't be myself because I think I'm weird so others will. Someone once told me that if I found a guy who liked the things I did he would only be gay. Gee, there's a promising thought.

I also have no idea where to meet age appropriate men. No do not suggest the Internet. No, do not suggest bars. And we have already established that anyone with half a brain will NOT date at work; ever heard the expression "don't shit where ya eat"? I think it was made up for this instance specifically, no matter how gross of a saying it is. But I don't know where to meet people.

I don't feel like I MUST date but after spending a year with ITSam and I sorta liked having someone to spend time with and hang out with and someone who, for the most part, cared about my comings and goings and wanted to help me and see me and just loved me. So I guess I feel a little lonely, and sometimes out of sorts.

And now I know that sometime in the next 11 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days I'll be stuck having another date, unless I break the streak.

Debating it,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2 dates, 1 guy: Part I

I told you about my meet cute experience and then texting and then agreeing to meet for coffee.

Well, I did meet for coffee and it was okay. The problem was that it was neither this amazing date nor was it super crappy-- it was just okay. He was okay.

A few things stand out in my mind about it:

1- he asked me if I wanted to meet for coffee at a Starbucks. I didn't suggest that or ask him or even hinted about it. He asked me. We met for coffee and as we went inside he said he's never been to Starbucks before. We talked about different types of drinks. Then as we waited in line he said he wasn't really a coffee drinker. Well. I asked if he would rather go somewhere else and he said no. I also pointed out they had other drinks there if he didn't want coffee. He said not it was fine and asked me if I would just order something for him. So I did. Then he paid (I offered and he said no). We had to wait a few minutes and it was a fairly busy Starbucks and he complained about the crowd. He also complained because we had to wait- he felt it was poor customer service- even though we waited only about 5 minutes, which I didn't think was a big deal. And then the piece de resistance as we walked out the door was that he bitched about the cost of the coffee; he doesn't understand why anyone would pay $5 for a cup of coffee.

Now HE asked me there, not the other way around. And then have the nerve to complain about it? Like it was my idea or fault?

2- he said he thought that teachers were snobby and thought they were better than other people. I said I wasn't like that and he felt like he wanted to impress me. Uhhhh, I didn't even know how to respond to that.

So we got coffee and then sat in the mall food court and talked for awhile. At the end of the conversation my big determination was that we didn't seem to have much in common but he was nervous and it was okay. He did ask me if I wanted to turn coffee into dinner but I had plans and said no. (If I didn't have plans I would've probably said 'no' anyway while I was thinking about it.)

This was Saturday. Then Saturday night he called me to see if I wanted to have dinner on Sunday. He said he would be working for the next 10 days (he's a truck driver) and then he would have his daughter then be on the road again for 5 days, so it looked like it would be 3 weeks before we could go out, so I agreed to date #2 with this guy.

And that's information for another post!

2 dates, 1 guy: Part II

What follows is my accounting of the second date with the "meet cute" guy. I told Lilith about it and I thought she was going to insight a riot with this... well, about him. So in an attempt at being fun, I wrote the post and Lilith added her editorial comments- these are found in red italics. I have to say it's like telling her this story in person and getting her response...

So I said I would go to dinner with this guy on Sunday night. I had plans to see a matinee with XRayGirl so I told him I couldn't meet until 6pm; that plan changed so I let him know I was free earlier... so he wanted to meet at 4pm. For dinner? Uh, okay. Ok, I must say 4pm for a dinner usually means one of two things: 1.) he lives at home with mommy and wants to get back before dark OR 2.) he's hoping he can turn an early dinner into a booty call!Then we had a 20 minute discussion about where. Now, I'm sort of old school in some ways. I feel cornered if a guy wants me to pick the place so I've made it a habit to give 2 or 3 suggestions that I like and usually a guy picks one of those. I don't like it if a guy says "we're eating here" and I can safely say no man has ever done that. I also don't mind if a guy offers suggestions or says "do you like Italian (or insert ethnicity here)" and then suggestions a place. But this guy made me give suggestions and then pick one. He wouldn't commit to any place at all. So after that we decided on a cute local pizza place here in my town, where I could meet him, even though he did offer to pick me up (I'm not comfortable with that idea.). Wise choice! And why ask for suggestions if he wasn't going to pick?

I also want to say he thinks he super macho. He's about 6'3" and overweight but he has a "fu manchu" goatee thing and is into all sorts of "manly" things like NASCAR, hunting, fishing, guns, gun collecting, making his own ammo (HUGE RED FLAG if he makes his own ammo!), Harleys. He thinks sports are stupid and isn't "into" that but when he "bulks up" he's going to give UFC a try (it's Ultimate Fighting Championship), like cage matches or something. He thinks THAT's a sport yet NFL players are pussies. Are you understanding what I'm trying to say here? This guy thinks he is hot shit but is a total redneck- and I feel like I'm insulting rednecks everywhere. That would be a correct assumption! LOL

And he swears A LOT. I know that sounds like pot calling the kettle black but he used the F-word ALL the time, as all 8 parts of speech. I was taken aback. I was just surprised.

I like this... he has a 3 year old daughter and he named her "Tyme." I said i thought that was unusual and asked if it was a family name or if there was a story behind it. He said yeah and proceeded to tell me he always like the actress Tyne Daily from Cagney and Lacy, who reminded him of his mom. Well, he said he always thought her name was Tyme Daily... ooops. He didn't realize his mistake until it was already on her birth certificate. O-kay! Isn't that something you should make sure of before you make it official?

He also said, at some point in a relationship everyone needs to compromise. I said I agreed. He said he might want me to go see a UFC fight. And I just smiled. I then said I might want him to go shoe shopping with me and he snorted and said, "not a fucking chance. that's what you have girlfriends for." What happened to compromise? It's called, you'll do what I want and like it (that's his definition of compromise)! What an asshat!

He also talked about how much he wants to go to Fan Fest in Nashville next summer and ride his Harley (a Harley he hasn't bought yet either!) down there. He asked me if I would like to do something like that. I told him that frankly, no I wouldn't because I don't like the heat, I don't like country music, and I don't think I would like to ride that far on a Harley. He said that I would suck it up and go and like it and I didn't know anything. Holy shit, where did this ass-backwards jackass come from? Is he gonna drag you by your hair and throw you on his imaginary Harley? Did he even know how to use utensils when you went to dinner?

He also makes jokes about his weight but he also made comment about MINE. OH NO HE DIDN'T! Uh, yeah. He said something about people looking at the fat guy and thinks he'll be jolly but I should understand that because I probably get that too....... oh yes, he did say that. He also bluntly said he liked that my boobs looked jiggly but fat girls usually had that going and he was a man usually liked girls with small perky ones but mine looked nice. They are nice boobs! Thank God he said that after we were given our check and were leaving or I would've got up and left.

Let's see.... oh and I must tell you that everything I said, all night long, was just some giant sexual innuendo. I could say "Did you come down highway 2 to get here?" and he would chuckle and say "no, I didn't COME down there but I drove- heehee". Really? Really? It went on like that all night with everything. (Wait a second, I just lost a contact from rolling my eyes so much) And he bragged that he could make anything about sex. And he did. Even if it didn't make sense. Oh great just what the world needs another sexual innuendo douchebag!

So we met. First, he looked like an idiot. It's the coldest damn day of the year. It's about 10 degrees outside and the wind is blowing so it's around -18 or some such nonsense and we had gusting winds up to 40 mph. And it was snowing. He wore a Harley t-shirt with a short sleeve SNAP up Harley shirt over it. And he's very heavy set so the snaps strained- keep this in mind, please. And he claimed he wasn't cold and NEVER wears a winter coat. I lived in the Wild West in part of the coldest section of the country where some of the manliest men live and they would admit it to it being cold and would dress accordingly. There is nothing macho about frost bite. So when he said he wasn't cold, he was lying and that's just stupid. Didn't you know that Harley clothing makes the wearer impervious to cold!He told me liked to read to his daughter and I said I thought that was really awesome! And he said he's more than just a dumb truck driver and I quote him "Duh, I do know how to read." Look, I'm an English teacher and lover of books so any time anyone says they read to their kids, I get excited!!!! I was not thinking he couldn't read. I'm beginning to think he was lying! It's not reading if it's a book on tape!We don't like the same things: not the same music or movies (he doesn't even really like movies) or hobbies. He has a 3 year old kid and we all know I don't like kids. And we have some seriously divergent beliefs.

He also said he believes every single person in the United States should be armed as much as then can because at some point citizens are going to invade DC and stage "one of those things"- I filled in the word "coup" and he said "yeah one of those" and over throw the government and that citizens should be armed and ready to protect themselves when it's all marshal law and he wants to be able to lead his own militia. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......... RUN, RUN FA FA AWAY!!Oh let's see what other little gems he had... he went back to the teachers are snobs idea and he said he thought I was a snob but I was trying hard to not be because I used lots of big words and I claim to like opera and ballet. But I DO like ballet and opera and I do have a big vocabulary. And he said, and I quote him, "I hate it when people stereotype others. Like me, some people think I'm just a stupid fucking truck driver and i ain't." Umm, hello dumbass you (him, not you) just stereotyped teachers. What a fracking asshat!He also had no manners. I'm not kidding. He didn't say thanks or please to anyone. He didn't pull out my chair. And best of all, went out the door ahead of me while I was struggling to get my coat on and he let the door swing close in my face. I pushed it open and he looked back and said, "Uh thought you had it." Not a sorry, or anything and he kept on going.

Did I mention he spent 45 minutes talking about his ex? He even noticed he did and said 'well, I guess that's attractive." Well not any more than any of this other shit...

And after he ate and leaned back in the booth and exhaled, all the snaps on his shirt popped open. LOL, how did you not pee yourself laughing?

I think there could be more but I think this is enough... And this is why I am NOT going on a third date. I don't really think there's a need now, do you? We really need to find you a nice, normal guy! I can't say it enough, what a fricken douchbag!

Thanking God I dodged that bullet,
Maggie and Lilith

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I don't know why I'm so tired

I am soooooooooooo tired. OMG, I am so tired. Every muscle in my body hurts. I'm often pretty tired on Mondays but not this exhausted. And yeah, I know this isn't a Monday but it might as well be MY Monday since yesterday we didn't have any school with students.

Back when I was teaching in the Wild West I would actually fall asleep sitting straight on my couch, usually with a book in one hand and the remote control in the other. Just awake watching TV or reading one moment and then next my head bobs and it's been 3 hours. I would feel like I had run a marathon or something exhausting.

I feel like that again today, even though it's been awhile since I've felt that wiped out but today is that day. It's the sort of tired that just seeps into my bones. I rolled my shoulders and everything popped and cracked. I laid my head back on the couch and could feel the muscles stretch out.

Part of it, I think, is the deep deep cold we had today. It was about 20 degrees today and really windy. We are also not heating the hallways at school so it just gets cold and stays that way. I am just so very cold and so tired.

Here's the kicker--- I didn't do a damn thing all day today that could be deemed exhausting or that tiring. I sat at my computer and I did bunch of paperwork. I handled a bunch of phone calls and did some research. I had to 'babysit' a group of new boy students this morning and test them, and then I had the new group of girls in the afternoon but that isn't what I would call strenuous. So in all honesty I can believe I'm this bone tired.

Maybe because it's the first day back to school after a 17 day Christmas vacation? Of having to be "on" for the kids?

And unfortunately I can't crash like I used to back in the Wild West. I would go go go all week long and then on Friday I'd be asleep by 5pm and do nothing by cat nap and watch TV and then hit it again on Monday. I can't be a lounging bum this weekend because it's my weekend to work my OTHER job.

But tonight I'm giving serious thought to going to sleep around 8pm... I could get about 10 hours of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs that way.........


Monday, January 2, 2012

What would you do for a concert ticket?

I'm not really a huge fan of country music. I know some, and like a little but when I lived in the Wild West it was country music overkill and I just have not been a huge fan ever since because I think I ODed.

That being said, I *heart* Tim McGraw. Yes, I do listen to him and buy his CDs and have him loaded on my defunk iPod and will even stop the radio on a country station if he's on.

He's the only country music singer I would pay to see in concert. And even better I don't have to "pay"... cold hard cash, anyway. But I do have to do something... grade papers. Yes, I feel like I should be holding a sign card that reads: "Will grade for Tim McGraw."

He's going to be in the capital of my home state this summer, with some guy called Kenny Chesney (something about a sexy tractor?????), live in concert. And my friend Photographer LOVES him. She and 4 of her friends are going and invited me along. I said I'd love to go. Tickets are $135 and I never mentioned money being an issue but since she KNOWS my life, her proposal is that I could grade in exchange for tickets.

I've graded for her before; she's a high school English teacher and our teaching styles and methods are very similar. As is the way we grade so I've graded for her in the past and she pays me. This time, I get Tim instead of cash!!!

Over the Christmas break, I agreed to grade some HUGE Scarlet Letter projects (technology meets Hester Prynne meets essays) for her AP kids because her father-in-law died. These huge ass assignments would've garnered me $75 in cash so I'm almost there!!!!!

The lengths I will go to for Tim McGraw....

Maggie Mae

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What did I actually do on New Year's Eve?

I had several plans over the last few weeks of what I was going to do or NOT going to do on New Year's Eve:

Plan A:
Daddy-O was going to be in Texas and Mac was going to a party so I was going to rent a stack of movies and stay home alone and watch those and get drunk. Alone. Then go to bed after the ball dropped unless I had already passed out.

Plan B:
Go with XRayGirl and a bunch of her peeps to a couples only bowling thing. Now, I'm no longer part of a couple so she was going to just find a warm male body so I could go whether it was a date or not, just so I could spend NYEve with her!

Plan C:
Go see the movie New Year's Eve alone and then come home to watch the ball drop and then go to bed. (Mac said this was ultra sad and depressing to go to a movie alone on New Year's Eve to watch other people celebrating New Year's Eve... He might've had a point!)

Plan D:
ITSam wanted to see me and do anything. Can we say "ugh!"?

Then actually on New Year's Eve day, XRayGirl was still scrambling to find a guy to bowl with me and Mac's friends canceled on him so I decided to bail on the bowling and go with Plan E:
take Mac to dinner and a movie. (We toyed with having Mac be my bowling partner but it's for ages 21 and up so he wasn't old enough AND he didn't want to go bowling with his mom and her old friends.... that could be a Plan F but we didn't give it serious thought because of the age issues)

But about 20 minutes before we were going to leave, one of Mac's friends called him and asked him to go to COLLEGE FRAT party, and what 18 year old boy in his right mind would turn that down? And on New Year's Eve, to boot?!? So I set him free of his mom commitment.

And it was too late to go bowling...

And I had turned down a Sam for dinner because I was going to eat with Mac...

So I went with Plan G:
Daddy-O and I went to Bob Evans for dinner, then we watched Burlesque. I graded papers for Photographer. Daddy-O went to bed before the ball dropped but I watched that for about 2 minutes, texted friends a 'happy new year' and then watched stuff I had been DVR-ing for a few weeks. Finally I went to bed around 1:30am... I didn't drink. It wasn't a big deal and I didn't feel all depressed or sad. It really was just another night...

New Year's Eve is really a night for couples or really young people, I've decided. I sound jaded but I'm not. It really is such. And all my friends are "couples" and so unless next year I just hold a big bash for everyone, I'm going to just hide or volunteer to work somewhere...

But it's a new year and that's good.

Welcome 2012,

New Day, New Year!

Love, Maggie