Saturday, February 24, 2007
1. Played too many computer games including this one. (Thanks, Claud!)
2. Cleaned out my scrapbooking cabinet.
3. Read Born On A Blue Day. (Thanks, Uncle Thom!)
4. Chopped off a few inches of my hair:
5. Watched Alice In Wonderland.
Five Things I Didn't Do On My February Vacation:
1. My homework.
2. Grade papers.
4. My taxes.
5. Laundry duties.
I think it's safe to say that I lived only for myself this week. It was teriffic.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
If anyone is interested in burnt Valentine's cookies, feel free to come to my house. I set the timer, but never pressed start. When I smelled the burning, I ignored it because the timer was going. Or so I thought. I tried to salvage some, but I couldn't. They taste burnt all the way through.
In other news, my online class is going swimmingly. Even this procrastinator managed to complete all of her assignments by Thursday even though they weren't due until Sunday. Plus, yesterday and today I finished my three required extra credit assignments (don't ask). I'm feeling pretty good. I think it's helping that my current class is a math class. Have I ever mentioned that I love math? Seriously, I could do math nonstop. This explains why I'm doing problem solving on the first Saturday night of my vacation.
In other news, because I know you all love my house cleaning posts, today I managed to:
- do dishes
- make the bed
- make a real lunch
- burn some cookies
- watch several hours of TV
- read two magazines
- do lots of homework
- catch up on all my favorite blogs
I'm on vacation this week and for the first time in a long time, I have nothing to do. Sure, I have a few minor house things and I need to do my bills and keep up with my homework, but I do these things normally.
I feel great. I feel relaxed and inspired and content. I can't remember the last time I felt this good.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I went home sick from work on Thursday. Slept all day and evening. Couldn't bear the thought of food. ASt 8:30 I decided to call out for Friday too considering I hadn't eaten in twelve hours or made it off the couch.
I felt okay yesterday and was ready to prepare to go in to work to take care of a few things. I decided I could use some coffee first so I went to make coffee, but I had no water anywhere in the house.
Three hours later it came back on but the kitchen water was pretty dirty. I didn't worry about it. I'm kind of used to random water issues here.
I had my coffee this morning and had no problems with the water. Midmorning I decided to tackle the dishes. I turned on the water while I put some things away. Returned to the sink and noticed it wasn't draining. Moved the stopper because it always gets stuck on stop. Still nothing. Stuck a knife down there to clear any debris. Nothing.
So I used a cup and pot to clear out all the water. Tried running some hot water. No luck. About an hour ago I poured in some Liquid Plumber. It's just sitting there doing nothing.
I may attempt to tackle the pipes under the sink but they're old and I have no idea what I'm doing so right now I'm just waiting it out. Maybe it'll fix itself like everything else around here.
Update: Well, I decided to go online for a fix. All the help sites suggested a plunger (though apparently it's dangerous to use one after trying a chemical fix, oh and they all said not to bother with the chemicals). There's a plunger under my sink so I plunged away. And it worked with very little effort on my part. Yay!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Guy #1: That girl at the party, Kyra -- she was hot.
Guy #2: I thought so, too, but then I saw her MySpace photos, and she didn't look that good. I'll send you a link to them.
Guy #1: Uh... Dude, I saw her in real life. Who cares what her MySpace photos looked like?
--Manhattan-bound F train
via Overheard in New York, Feb 4, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
It helped that at twelve I could pass for sixteen and then never passed beyond that.
I've spent most of my adult life telling people that yes, I really am that old. And after telling me how young I looked, they'd say I'd appreciate it someday. I'd smile and agree. I already appreciated it.
It never bothered me to get carded for alcohol and cigarettes. I got a kick out of watching older friends get carded for their first time in years just because they were out with me.
I'd take pictures with my homeroom kids and when they took them home their relatives would ask who the teacher was.
I'm a very low-maintenance gal. They tease me at work about my lack of fashion sense and stubborn refusal to put on any makeup other than mascara (and even that's a recent thing). I feel pretty grateful that I work in a school, because although I don't dress like a bum, I definitely wouldn't be called polished. I'd never last in the business world due to my complete inability to maintain a neat appearance. Even on the days when I try, all efforts are lost within a couple of hours. My hair looks uncombed, I've probably spilled something on my shirt, and the lipstick never made it through my front door. I missed that part of Being a Female 101 and I skip over those sections in chick magazines because they seem to be in a foreign language.
My youthful appearance combined with my utter disregard for the maintenance of good looks made me feel like age would never bother me. I have more important things to do than worry about a little wrinkle.
A few months ago I looked down at my hands and they looked old.
I don't get carded anymore even when I go somewhere new.
My skin is impossible.
My joints ache.
And I'm starting to feel like I'm a little behind on the whole list of things I'm suppossed to accomplish.
I'll be 30 in about six weeks. It even sounds old to me. Thirty. Grown-up.
I'm still renting, still going to college, still paying debt from my first stint in college, unmarried.
I didn't expect to feel anything about turning thirty.
I do. I feel like I missed the class where they teach you how to be a grown-up. I debate about my current cleansing, eating, exercising habits because I know I'm not getting any younger. I feel like I need to stop behaving as if my body can recover from anything.
A little part of me also feels relief. When I deal with parents at my school, I no longer feel self-conscious about my age. Fewer people are likely to call me cute. I'm no longer expected to dress fashionably or be able to stay awake past 9PM (both good things because I never was able to do either, now I can blame it on my age).
Thirty just sounds so serious. I feel like I should say it in this deep authority-filled voice: "I'm thirty". I'm thinking about buying sharp suits and cutting my hair short. Learning how to apply lipstick and get it to last all day. Wearing pantyhose with my skirts instead of going bare-legged. Trading in my cartoon T-shirts in favor of embroidered blouses.
How did you manage thirty?
Saturday, February 03, 2007
This year's eighth grade class is particularly heavy on talent. They also happen to be the last group of students who worked with our old music teacher. There has been drama and animosity every year. Last year was particularly bad and so I had vowed to take this year off and return when we had kids and parents who didn't feel so entitled and wouldn't criticize everything the new music teacher and I did.
Alas, there were some other changes this year and the music teacher begged me to stay on board. Neither of us wanted the drama, so we chose to do a cabaret instead of a musical. With a cabaret, we reasoned that every kid would get a chance for a major part. We extended the idea even further by asking the students to tell us what songs they wanted to sing. The whole production was planned to cater to the kids and parents and minimize the stress for us.
We cast the show on Monday. 95% of our cast of 60 students got exactly what they asked for. There were a handful of songs from our eighth graders' favorite show that more than one of them requested. We handed those out and then gave the rest of the kids solos from the same show and in the style they requested (upbeat or moving). One eighth grader who has never had a solo before was given a solo from another show. We left Monday feeling pretty darn good that for the first time, we were able to give every kid what they wanted. Hopefully, we could end all the animosity and drama and give them a final year that gave everyone of them a chance to show their stuff without comparing notes about whose part was bigger or who got more stage time.
We should have known better.
I posted the cast list outside my room and watched the eighth graders check it out. I saw one disappointed person (which we had anticipated- she had a smaller solo than she'd asked for) and the rest jumped for joy. By the end of the day, five of them weren't happy.
One got exactly the song she asked for but complained about what someone else got (and about the song she got, but I'm too baffled by that one to respond).
Our first time soloist wrote a nasty letter about how she didn't get a solo in a certain show.
The initially disappointed girl (and her mom) complained about everything and accused us of trying to embarrass the child.
One complained about what part of the song she was given.
And one girl's parents wrote us a nasty email about how we snubbed their daughter by not giving her a major role and that we could explain to the kid why she her dedication hadn't paid off. The whole note described how she'd been waiting for her eighth grade year and we snubbed her. As an aside, the girl has had solos and major roles every year since fifth grade.
I emailed the music teacher, "Um, I'm confused. Didn't we give her a major role?"
Yes, we had.
She's singing a duet in the style and show she wanted. It wasn't her first choice, but it's pretty darn close and was given to her for all the reasons her parents gave us when they tried to say we made a mistake.
I tried calling her dad three times that day. I was giving the music teacher a break from all the anger. I left him a message at work and on his cell phone and when I had no luck invited him to come in to speak with me personally.
I also pulled the girl aside and very nicely asked her if one of the other kids gave her the idea that her part wasn't major. She was teary-eyed and said it was her idea. I told her that it was a major part and listed all the great qualities that led us to give it to her.
I thought that would be the end of it.
On Friday, we pulled the older kids aside and I laid down the line about their negativity and explained trhe casting.
That girl's mom came in at the end of rehearsal and cornered the music teacher for the next half hour. I was sorry that I didn't join him. He's a softie. He wants to add another song to appease the parents. I told him no way.
Their idea is that unless she is alone on stage for her song, it's not big enough. It's the most ridiculous untruth I've ever heard and I can't believe a 13 year-old's parents are feeding into this or that they're trying to bully their way to a different role for their kid.
The mom also claimed that we didn't respond to the email (guess hubby didn't share the messages) and was mad that I spoke to the kid. She chose not to address me personally over this. Now I'm angry and can't get it out of my head.
"Hello, you gave our daughter a major role in the school show, but it's not major enough so we're going to harrass, and threaten, and belittle you until you cave in."
"Oh, and we're going to set our kid up for feelings of failure by giving her the idea that in theater the amount of lines, song time, stage time, alone time is a measure of how talented and worthy you are."
"And we want you to support that falsehood for her and every other kid in your program by giving her a different song so she can be alone on stage instead of sharing the stage with one other person."