Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006

Well, it's been a heck of a year. I started it out by returning to Egypt to complete my last school year in Cairo. I saw Egypt win the African Cup, relaxed on a few well-deserved beach vacations on the Red Sea (Italians included), saw an eclipse, traveled to a distant oasis town called Siwa near the Libyan border, traveled back to the US to try to land a teaching job, experienced sand storms, crazy taxi rides, sold 2 paintings, a beautiful dinner in the desert near the Giza pyramids (in a custom made dress), paid off Egyptian airport workers to load my luggage, layover in Vienna, caught up on Lost, taught summer school, lived with a crazy woman who kept food in her fridge from 2001 ($1200 a month thank you very much), visted Seattle (for a day - sniff-), went to Alaska - the last frontier, began teaching at a juvenile detention center (at least it's an art position), almost moved into my own apartment, but decided to save money and move back home, visited Kansas City (who knew I'd like it?), commuted, stayed at friends houses, ran upwards of 5 miles a day (then stopped because commuting takes it out of you), made tons of christmas cookies, joined a second gym (who does that?), and waited for the new year to come.

I'm sure I've missed some other things. But according to the calendar a new year is coming. It could be an interesting one. I will probably move again. Big news there. But I have a few things in mind that might make the year go by at a nice pace. We'll see what happens, you can only live in the present, and deal with what happens on a day to day basis. Who knows what one can do?

I wish everyone a happy and peaceful new year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Everything is relatives

Yea, it's that one time a year where my family regroups at the assisted living space where my grandma lives. Everyone comes out of the woodwork to see and catch up on everything family.

It's ok. I mean, it's something you feel compelled to do, because it's the very least you can do. The only problem is, I'm the only one representing my sisters every year. And it get's darn hard to turn on the smiles and say things like," They're doing great, they ran out of vacation leave (or insert another excuse)."

It's interesting to see the family dynamics. Who sits with who. Who doesn't sit with who. Who makes the rounds to everyone. Then there are the words that are exchanged. Yes, my grandmother is extremely traditional when it comes to family. She kind of lets you know who's in the blood line and who's not. This year was no exception," Bless those who are related by blood, and those who have chosen us." I guess I made the cut, because I'm in the blood line. If you're married to one of us...well, sorry for you.

I look up to see who caught wind of that one. And I look over at my cousin, who brought his girlfriend, and I'm thinking...she's a brave one to even set foot in this place. Not only because almost every family member is here, but because she's now "chosen" us. GO-- run for the door.

As if that weren't enough, I got the usual questions: How do you like your job? When are you moving again? Do you have a boyfriend? Where are you going to next? How's commuting? Are you sure you want to move again? or...if you're sitting next to a "chosen" member of the family... it's more like: Is your work doing anything for you? Are you taking it day by day? How's life?

At any rate, we're all family. You can't change that one bit. I had several offers to live in their homes, find a new job. All very nice ideas. I guess that's one think I do like about family. They do look out for you. They want your life to be alright too.

check this out.

Poor middle and upper class kids and their white parents. Nothing like this would ever happen at a low income school:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What I didn't want for Christmas...

Ouch, I banged my patella straight into the stone ground as I was letting the dogs in from the rainy night. I didn't expect it to still be hurting a day later. I thought maybe a bruise or something. Alas, no bruise. Just pain when anything comes into contact with it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Break Time

While in other parts of the country it appears that winter has struck, here in the little town where my parents live...not so much. I think it's about 55. More like spring than anything else. It rained all day yesterday, but it's nice and bright today.

Winter break has started for me, and I couldn't be more relieved. Although break didn't come before an amount of strange issues at work.

The first? Well, we were asked to go meet with the director of the D-home. I decided to go up and just share my view that it's a communication problem, but yet it’s a dictatorship down in the school wing.

Number 2. I was observed on the last day of classes. Yes I know, she can come to my classroom whenever she wants... BUT, to observe and give me an informal evaluation? Get real! I guess that's just her loving way to say," Happy Holidays, from your tyrant boss".

Number 3. Decided that I have nothing to lose and I might as well air out the dirty laundry before break. So I talked to the lead teacher (or the tyrant's puppet). I just acknowledged the issues that I was concerned with: slander, intimidation, prejudgment... and communication. The "lead teacher" went straight to the tyrant leader, of course. And on the last day of school (Thursday) I had an impromptu meeting with the tyrant and puppet. So I aired it all out. I told them everything that I was thinking. I was expecting some kind of support, and maybe an apology. I did get an apology for the way she spoke to me last week, but of course she was having a "bad day". The tyrant also lied straight to my face. I reminded her of the fact that she has had way too many discussions with me about past teacher indiscretions (if you know what I mean). And I told her I was offended and it was unnecessary to keep recalling that. She denied it, but I told her I wrote it down, and that I wouldn't bring it up if I weren't affected by it. So whatever. The puppet intervened and well, I just let it go. All it all, I thought I hung in there quite well. The whole meeting just made me realize what a crazy person she actually is. She even was twirling her hair and staring off into space as the meeting progressed. Is this an adult or a student?

Numero quatro. I confirmed a meeting with the tyrant's boss when I get back from break. I will bring my notes, my observations, and everything that I have experienced by being in the presence of the tyrant.

Everyday that I see her I can feel my blood boil. The less I see her, usually the better my day goes. I'm so happy that I'm not even on the school wing, and that I am out on the unit. One of the detention specialists even asked me if I was coming back next year. I said,” I haven't decided yet." And he said,” Well, I hope you do." That was nice to hear, but I don't think so, bro. One way or another I'm in KC or New York!

Ok, well, on to better things. I'm excited about the fact that I will be able to join the YMCA in PA. I really need an outlet with these crazy days just rolling in and out of my life. I miss running so much, and I was doing so well a month a go. Now I have to start over and it's getting cold. So I thought it might be a decent alternative. Oh well. It's good for the soul. That and cooking.

Started a painting last night. It's one of the mazes I've been doing lately. Not sure if I really like what I'm doing right now. I may wipe some of it out and start again.. I do that a lot. I'm a big under painter, I guess you could say. I start out with something on canvas and then usually I end up clearing it off and starting again. Then I keep the next one. I guess it's part of my process... if I have one.

In about a week and 1/2 I'll be out in KC to visit Amy and Travis! YEAH!!! So excited to look at the city again, and really think about it as the place I'm going to be living. I kind of hope so. I never ever thought in a million years I'd be trying to move to exactly in the middle of the country.

That's about all from here for a while. Hopefully I can post some artwork someday soon. That'd be good.

Happy Holidays...........and PEACE!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I would totally move for this house:

Monday, December 18, 2006

On to what's next

It's Monday. You know what that means? Tomorrow is Tuesday. But that's not all, you see it's a short week for me and I get to start vacation on Thursday evening. That's right! And I'm really happy about that.

I think we all need a break right about now. It's time for no more commuting, only happy thoughts, lovely beverages, and good food. I plan on all of that and more. Even, oh I don't know, paint, perhaps? FINALLY! I'm really looking forward to going through some of my boxes that have been packed up for almost 3 years too. I miss my cappucino machine. I gotta find it. And I can't just keep buying art supplies. I have a ridiculous amount already. (but I think I deserve a new brush or two), that's what's next... Break.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Interesting View

I drive 15 to 270 to 495 frequently... many times a week infact. During those drives, I had never seen what I saw last night coming back from my best friend's house. There's this huge cemetary on the side 15, and last night they had candles at every gravesite. It was an amazing picture. I kind of wished I had my camera. I could see all the flickers of the candles through the trees. There must have been hundreds of them. I decided not to go in and tour, although I saw many cars pulling in and out. Instead I just slowed my car down, and took in the sight for a brief moment. Life comes too fast for most of us to take notice. To turn something such as a cemetary into a beautiful memorium during the winter season is a great offering to those who have passed on.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's been a long time

I guess I'm trying to figure out what I want to write on this page. There is so much rambling around in my mind, that I'm not sure what I want to put down. I guess the first thing that I always am thinking about is my job. I know by now, that there is no perfect teaching job. For instance, sometimes it's the students. Sometimes it's the administration, sometimes it's both. I think I'm hitting the wall, though. I'm not quite sure how I'll make it through the next six months. This is the first job I've had where I thought I could actually make a difference in the lives of the students I teach. I have small classes, no behavior problems, and they're actually learning. I'm not bored either. I get to know my students, I get to see them everyday.

But the principal. She makes it horrible for me to accomplish that everyday. She is a tyrant. She's not pleasant, she's sarcastic, moody, and filled with hate. She has no life and makes it an intolerable atmosphere.

So I need to be proactive, even though I'm not going to be there next year. I can't let this woman ruin the teachers that are here. So I'm going to talk to her boss. I already talked to her about some of my more diplomatic concerns, but she passed me by. So, I've decided to go up the chain of command.

Only one more week until break. And I think, I can make it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Catch up

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. There's been a lot going on that I needed to take care of. Some of it has been taken care of, but most of it won't be taken care of until the end of the school year. It's a struggle everyday to get to work. And then it's a struggle to not be in the middle of everyone else's drama when I get to work. Mainly, I try to stay out of the way, and I try to maintain what my job really is... to work with the students. It's the only part of my work day that I like. Which I'm thankfrul for.

This Friday was enjoyable too, I had it off. What was originally a moving day, became a day that I ran errands. But they were fun errands. And I was happy to have the entire day off. Not worrying about whether or not things would be waiting for me at work. Which I'm sure they will be.

Thursday I had to drive all the way down to Fredricksburg to hear a document being read to me. It had nothing to do with me at all. It was a complete waste of time, and all of our students missed a day of education because of it. It wasn't my decision to do it. So I guess that's not my problem.

Anyway, another weekend has come and gone, and there are two weeks left until my good-sized break (but not as good-sized as it was when I was in Egypt). Can't wait for it!

I'm out of practice for writing about, that's it for now.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


It pays to be direct. That's right, I got my deposit back, not because my room was left in better condition than I found it, but because I sent a certified letter to the landlady. I think it worked. I am out of that place for good and all I have to do is go cash that check.... So that makes me happy to no end. I finally got one thing out of the way.

Now on to driving. It's kind of weird always traveling under the cover of darkness. It makes me feel a little like a member of the Von Trap family. It's not ideal at all, and to tell you the truth I'm so tired, I'm a little drunk on no sleep. It's been rough.

School, is no exception. What do you do when you feel like someone is pushing you to the brink of cracking? And you know that's what they're waiting for? I don't know. I guess that makes me not want to crack even more. So I won't. My only choice in this matter is to not be around anyone. So I guess I'll will be a wallflower for as long as I can stand it. I know I didn't really explain anything there, but it's complicated and actually almost all of it seems unimportant now. And I think now that now that I'm realizing how crazy everyone is at work, it really has nothing to do with me, it's time to just let it all go. I LOVE teaching my classes. SERIOUSLY! You can't beat 8 in a class. 8 students in a class. Can you imagine?? And as long as that is still going ok, then that's good, because that's what I'm there for.

More good things:

The weekend is coming up.
I can sleep more and won't have to drive.
I got all my stuff now in one place.
Next week is only a 4 day week for me. Originally it was moving day, but now I'm just going to take it as a personal day....
3 more weeks until Christmas break.
AND AND AND.............wait for it.............

THANK YOU JONA FOR THE CARD!! I got it today when I got home. It really made my day!

Ok, peace out, man... I need sleep

Monday, November 27, 2006

First day down....

.........And many months more to go. But I did it. I got in my car at 4:45 and drove myself to work in under 2 hours. I got there way too early, and I'm taking 15 more minutes of sleep tonight. So that's nice. I'm even going to shave some time off my breakfast by preapring half of it tonight. Coffee included, of course.

Ok. Update on the Business. My friend, Amy, who's also going to be my business partner, has a telephone meeting with the people we're going to do business with (hopefully), and then my turn will be later in the week. So that's exciting. I think it's really going to happen. It's going to be a lot of work, but I swear we can do it.

Did I also mention the CIA called me the other day? .... and by that I mean, the Culinary Institute of America. I'd love to still do that someday, but it's on the back burner for now. Which is fine. I can cook, I can bake. It would be great to spend more time doing that now, which I am, since I'm living at home. So that will do for now.

Thinking about stretching myself really thin and trying to work for a baker here in Gettysburg. I mean, I don't have much of a life right now, and I might as well stay busy, and try to earn a few more dollars to add to the pot, and learn something I'm interested in. We'll see. I have to find a balance. It's going to take a few weeks, and then I'll see what I need to do. well, school. Not too many students right now, and the ones that are there, are so funny. The girls unit! The stuff they were talking today was hilarious. I had never heard so many uses of the term "snap" in my life... And yes Cory... they were correct uses of the term "snap"... Oh snap!

Alright.. nighty night.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Don't talk, listen.........

Would you be offended if your boss made that line apart of your staff meeting agenda? I am. I don't want to go back tomorrow. I'm dreading the long ride, I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle it. I'm trying to figure out the best way to use my sick leave. I feel like maybe every other week I should take 2 days off. That way every other week I have a holiday, kind of.

It's a lot to think about, but I guess I should think about the money I'm saving. It's good money. It will really help to have that stashed away somewhere for a while. At least that is the hope.

So much to think about, I'm finding more of a positive spin. So that's good. Things will be alright.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Well then...........

So there's been a lot going on in the last 2 weeks. My title says I'm not shipwrecked, but it is how I feel right now. I'm really worried about the commute. I'm very scared that it's just going to break me down. I'm trying to figure out alternatives. It's looking rough. I have a couple of friends who are willing and able to let me stay with them a couple nights a week, so that's great. And I have 19 days of sick leave, so I might as well take those, when I feel like I need them. It's just going to be hard. I'm not sure what the next few months will bring. I guess a lot of thinking and a lot of listening to music. Anyone got any ideas for driving music? I've tried listening to books on tape, but I'm usually distracted and don't get to listen to the story, so I think that's out. Same with foreign language tapes, but maybe I could do it with a language I'm already familar with, like French, German, Spanis, or even Italian... I don't know.

I'm thinking it's going to just have to be one of those things where I'll wake up, work, try to make it to a gym, or some kind of active thing, and then eat a quick meal and go to bed. I think that's going to be my life for the next 6 months. I can't quit my job. I can't. Because there is definite opportunity to save a lot of money for the big move to KC.

I guess I just feel nervous about it. This holiday has made me feel very anxious, and I haven't really been doing anything except think about what my options are for the next 6 months. Is saving money worth the grief at work? Is driving almost 2 hours each way worth it? What about gas? That's like paying rent. What about my well being? How will that change?

I've thought about getting part time jobs in Gettysburg. I think I could probably sub everyday, but I wouldn't have health insurance. I could work a series of part time jobs, or even take a risk and try to work at bakeries and coffee shops. But I can't earn enough. Part of me would just like to quit my teaching job, and the other part of me would like to pull through.... which I'm known to do in almost any situation. It's part of my personality. I like to see things through... I guess that's why I end up in some strange situations sometimes, or negative ones.

One thing is for sure, I can't quit now, it's close to Christmas, I only have about 4 more weeks until another break. It's certainly do-able. But is the rest of the year?

Oh well. I guess we'll see about that.

At any rate, I hope Americans had a good Thanksgiving. I enjoyed all the side dishes I could manage. And I'm going to try to use them today in leftovers. We'll see what happens. My mom said I should be creative.....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wow, what a week

It all began on Monday, of course, when I got an e-mail from my friend Amy... The timing couldn't be more strange, but she asked me if I was interested in taking over a business along with her. What, you say? Kate running a business? Well, first of all, it would be an art eduation related business, so it's not coming out from left field. Although right now I'm sitting here thinking about it, and wondering, how am I going to do this. ANYWAY... Amy has worked for the business owner since the end of summer, and the guy wants to sell it and get out. It's profitable, has only been up and running for less than a year, and has so much growth least in our minds. So............... we're going to do it.

As you may hae guessed, Amy and Travis are the ones that live out in Kansas City, MO. So that's where I'm headed. SHOCKER! I know. Kate who always said she wouldn't be caught dead in the middle of the country, is now headed towards tornado alley.. Who would have thought? But that's the way life is. Isn't it? You never, ever know where life will take you. I never planned on going to Egypt either....

It's not without pause though. We're doing some hard thinking and trying to cover all our bases with a plan to take it over. It won't be finalized until about April, and it could fall through.. Who knows... but, it's happening, it's in the works.

It's exciting and I'm super nervous about owning a business, but I think it will work. that's news

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Part 3: Alaska


Part 2 of Alaksa

Some pictures

Part 1 of Alaska

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Midwest

........NOT that bad. I was scared at first, venturing into the unknown and what not. But there it was in all it's glory. Space, nice people, a mid size city. Even a decent art scene that I could actually entertain getting into! Imagine that! Now, I'm not saying that I'm moving.. Cause, I'm not. But you can buy a church for $50,000. Or a building that you could live and work in (historical) for $90,000. Or-- you could buy a beautiful home for $150,000! Rent-- around $400 depending on what you want. Give or take $100. AMAZING!

I don't know. I'm definintely glad I went out there, and I know what's there now. It is a great place to live. It's not touristy. It's really a city for living. So many places I've visited and that's the difference. Many cities are very toursity, or cater to visiting people. Especially mid-sized cities. I didn't feel like it was "midwest". I felt like it was still Eastcoast, except without the attitude, and a little more gracious. Not as much material, more genuine. Good places to eat (although the salsa was not even remotely hot---darn).

One thing at a time. First I have to move out of my "room". Then I have to make my new place my own. Then....we'll see.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Senseless people doing senseless things

Peep this........... More insight on how things can be there. And how things can just escalate and get out of hand. Quickly. How sad, horrible, and disgraceful

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Time marches on

I can't believe it's alrady November. We've been so lucky to have nice fall weather so far, but I fear it's all about to change. It's been blue sky and sunny this past week, we even got to eat lunch outside. I like that!

Halloween came and went without really making a sound. Saturday I went to a party with my friends and it was ok. People weren't really doing much. Just kind of standing around and talking. There definitely seemed to be split between two groups. I was just invited to go. I only new the people I went with. I went with Katie and Shannon. We al decided to go as bank robbers, last minute. We made an enterance and everyone just stared. HOW STRANGE? I thought we looked pretty good. Especially for putting it all together just a couple hours before the party. Oh well, some people just don't really care. At least I looked more like a girl this year and less like Napoleon...hahahaha (that was a good costume though..freakin' awesome..gosh).

Tuesday I went over to my friends house. And helped pass out candy and watch kids come by with their costumes. There were a few that just squeaked by. But these two teenage boys came by and they had no costumes. I asked what they were, one said," I'm a male model" and the other said," I'm 18". Ok, whatever. Get candy while you can.

At school I decided to pass out candy and do exquisite corpses. Some of the exquisite corpses didn't really come out so good. Oh well. It's better to do with more than less kids. Perhaps we should have just done one big exquisite corpse for each class! I don't know.

Now it's Thursday! The week goes fast. Closer to my move date. I can't wait! Just about 4 more weeks to go. And I won't really be there this weekend, and then soon it will be THanksgiving, and then I move!

Thinking about getting a tree this year too. I'm usually against those things, I'd rather get a tree that can be planted etc... But I think this year I'm going to get a cut one. I'm looking forward to it.

Looking into culinary schools.... watch out! I may be a pastry chef yet!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 good things or more

Oh man, this tree I pass everyday coming home from work. It's amazing! The tree is huge and the sunlight passes right through the leaves at around 4:00. I keep saying I'm going to take my camera with me to work one day so on the way home I can snap a picture of it. But I keep forgetting, and then I realize it probably wouldn't be as beautiful to look at the picture anyway. The colors of the leaves this week have been amazing on that tree. It's all orange and yellow, and it changes value ever so slightly. It's as if Andy Goldsworthy made the tree himself. It just brightens my day everytime I go past it. I wish I lived in the house that owns the land on which the tree sits.

Secondly, I was amazed at the beautiful light that bounced of the clouds yesterday before sunset. I don't know what it was, but there was this dense cloud and the sun must have been right behind it. All these rays of light just came from behind, and made a stunning view. The rest of the sky was a series of blue tones and the wind was cold and crisp. I don't mind the cold when it's that beautiful to look at.

Thirdly, we all get an extra hour of sleep over here this weekend! YES!! I'm really excited about that. Yes, fall back everyone! Don't forget.

Fourth, I bought a new winter coat. To keep nice and toasty throughout the winter months, and believe me, if I'm cold now, February is going to be brutal! (it may actually make me pine for Cairo..almost)

Fifth, I head out to see Amy and Travis next weekend! So excited, and I get to visit a new place. Never been to Kansas City, and now I get to go see what it's like.

Sixth, ummm... well, tomorrow is Friday, and Saturday I think I'm going to a halloween party. Don't know exactly what I'm going to be. Any ideas welcome. My sister gave me a few, but now it's a mad dash.....

People say I'm not positive............those are 6 positives in one entry! So there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In this day and age

I find it extremely difficult that there are so many people I work with (like all of them), who don't believe evolution. I have a feeling I know why (which I won't discuss here). Mostly it's how they've been taught it, and it's their strong believe in the fact that they believe that the bible is fact (but they're not even schooled in that either). They're believing what they are told, instead of looking for answers themselves. Which is why I get all bent out of shape about religion. Many (not all and not every) religion preys upon the uneducated, or the people who just want the ease of faith. I can't understand why people would let themselves be misguided, but it happens outside of religion too (politics.. pretty much anywhere) I try to understand. I know I won't change their mind. And they won't change mine.

At the same time, how can one not make sense of the patterns we see everyday. How can they not see that evolution is in everything and everyday. The regeneration of skin, to the leaves falling, heredity (it's in our genes), the fossils.

I think my next major art undertaking with be a theme in evolution. I haven't quite figured out how... but I want to include evolution in my artwork. It can be the evolution of my art work.. ohh... I like that.. Ellen, want to take part???

Evolution is a sore subject to many people because I think it challenges them. And many people don't like to be challenged. Some people just like to stick to certain believes because it's easier. Life isn't easy. Keep exploring... keep learning. Things change. Theories do get blown out of proportion. But evolution is no longer a theory it's fact.


Do you see a pastry chef in your future? You might. I'm seriously thinking about applying to culinary school to be a pastry chef. Not sure where yet, and it probably won't be until 2008! But it's something I am seriously thinking about. I have to get some experience working in a bakery, or some kind of food industry. So I haven't quite figured out where, but I'm looking. There's a bakery up the road and I think I might just ask if I can work there for basically free.... So, we'll see. I'm thinking of the Culinary Institute of America or Johnson and Wales University, or some school in Boston.... I don't know. But, I'm investigating. Some schools are really expensive, so it would put more school loans on top of school loans. Not something I'm excited about....but if there's a will there is a way.

Keep warm out there folks...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

One of the best things about driving u pto my parents house this weekend was the fact that the colors on the trees are pretty amazing. I think up in PA they're just about down, but around my area it's like they're just about at their peak. The GW parkway was amazingly beautiful. One of the other great things about driving up was listening to NPR. I know.. NPR... but really it's funny because they play old bluegrass songs. And they come out with the funniest lyrics ever. Like:

You can use all the kitchen grease, I can buy it buy the pound. True love ain't like lard, darlin' why do you make this so hard.... please don't take my picture down, on your way back from town.


Oh were did my love go, she's supposed to wear my ring today. If you find her I'll be down by the willow tree getting married to another.

WHAT?? Crazy! I know. Then they have stained-glass blue grass. With amazing lines like:

The lord took my sweet heart and I have to prepare, so that I may go up, and meet her up there.

It just is one of those things.

Anywhooo..........just thought I would share that with you...
Halloween party to go to next week, and I just realized I have no idea for a costume. I don't know this year. Nothing can top last year!

Friday, October 20, 2006

it didn't go down well........

So I told my housemate this week. And it didn't go well. I'm giving her as much time as I can for her to find a new person. I started off by telling her what I was doing and my reasons for moving... NOT ABOUT HER AT ALL. But then she brought on the guilt and outright asked me what she could have done to make it better basically. So I told her a few basics. Then she criticized me and spoke down to me and blamed me that I can't communicate. I was really upset. Granted, I don't like confrontation and I am a bit passive when it comes to certain behaviors of people I'm around. But she's not very approachable, and I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. Not to mention it's her house. I'm not on equal footing with her. I could go on. But I think it's done now. She needs to get over it. And I need to just lie low for the next six weeks. I am sure this is the right decision.

It's the weekend! Museums this weekend, a birthday party, and maybe driving up to my parents....... I love weekends............

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Big Guns

Jenny Lewis is absolutely amazing. I can't even express how glad I am that I got to go to her show. I would see her again and again. She did all her songs off the album and she even performed a few new ones she has up her sleeve. She did some a capella with the Watson Twins and did a couple just on her guitar. She played almost every song with one instrument or another. She was excellent.

I was right up front for the whole show. Front and center. There were two opener bands for for her. "The Blow" (Portland, Oregon based...cory....). It was basically electronic beats and sounds to the performer's voice. She was really funny actually.....on purpose. And since most of the people standing around me were high schoolers, I don't think they really got her. But I thought she was interesting.

The next band right before Jenny was "Vietnam"... which you might guess would have a certain 60's - 70's rock thing going on. .Which they did. It was pretty much straight rock... They were ok. I thought that they were pretty much up there for the hell of it, I couldn't understand their words, but the guitars were good... so..

Then there was Jenny and the twins and the BAND. They were all amazing. The dummer was fantastic, the guitarist was some really young guy (who looked familiar... I don't know where from) from right here in Alexandria. He sang a few hooks, and played guitar. There was a guy at the little piano and he played slide guitar, and the bassist... and of course the twins. They came out all dressed in black and did a few songs. Then the ladies left the stage and came back in a new outfit and rocked out in these "Tina Turner" dresses. It was great. She is so good, her voice is so good. I hadn't expected her to be that good. The sound really suit her, I love the old gospel kind of thing she's got going on... It's really great.

SO GO SEE HER IF YOU CAN! The whole band looks like they really have fun up there. The last song was ," Handle with care" (made famous by the Traveling Willburys), and a an a capella song that she just wrote. I love live shows, you never really know what to expect.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Haikus for Jenny Lewis by Patricia and Kathleen

My sister and I are excited to be going to see Jenny Lewis and we just couldn't contain ourselves with one Haiku......

jenny lewis soon
guitars and scenester hair cuts
hope ben gibbard shows.

jenny lewis rocks
away the dark midnight blues
with us on sunday

Patricia does sing
along with her favorite
red headed sister

Gee I hope ben shows
so he can do a ditty
with jen lewis too

Watson twins sing too
bringing harmonies sweetly
when can i join in?

It's the weekend everybody!!!!!!!!


Ok, I'm going to be saying that all winter. But I just realized we've had so many nice blue skies, that it doesn't really matter. I think in Cairo I could count all the blue skies we had in 2 years on all my fingers and toes and not run out. Sad-- but true. I'll never forget the huge sandstorm I flew into on the way back to Cairo from the states last spring. ugh...

Anyway, be aware, Friday the 13th is upon us.... Watch your back, watch your back.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Accomplished grade giver

Yeah, one of those days. Except I actually like the population I work with today. Kids are the least of my worries. It's the bureaucratic paper push. It's school, it's government, and you know what's worse? It's state government. So there seems to be even more red tape to go through.

I don't really want to dwell on it, BUT I am. I feel like I need to come to a point and think about jobs, working and all that kind of stuff. Do I need a job that matters? Do I want my job to matter to me more? OR less? Is a job just a job? Should I love my job or just live for the weekends? I don't know. Because if there is a perfect job out there for me, I don't have it. But then again, I don't know what that perfect job is. Is it painting? I've never really had that job? Is it cooking? Or do I like that too much for me to make that a job... Do I want my passions to be my job or do I want my passions to be what I come home to at the end of the day? I don't know. I seem caught between the worlds. Because part of being a teacher is to give things for kids to grab on to, take it, and run with it. I like when a kid makes a piece of art work and he or she is proud of it. I like when they can figure out how shading works, or how to make something have more depth It's a great feeling to see the lightbulb come on. And it's hard to see that anymore because of where the educational system is going. It's stunting a lot of kids creativity. It's not giving them the option to figure things out on their own. It's more like," Here's the stuff you need to know so we can be a passing school and get our funding." And I hate that. It doesn't let me be the kind of teacher I thought I'd be able to be.

At the same time. I would rather not work with adults. And in almost any other profession it would be with adults. For me, I guess I give kids the benefit of doubt. Maybe I shouldn't do that. But they're not totally their own person yet. They have the ability to change and be influenced, and to change their personality. Not adults. They're stuck, become unreliable, and frustrating people.... Or people who are me. Teachers are a strange breed though.. I realize this. Sometimes common courtesy go out the window.

I don't know. My dream job....I'll have to think about that. I thought it would be teaching abroad. And it wasn't. I enjoyed the travel, and meeting people who wanted to do the same thing as I did, but it wasn't a dream. It was definitely a change though. At that time it wasn't the right fit for many different reasons. It doesn't mean I wouldn't do it again.... It's still a possibility.

Anyway, I keep going. The days do seem to be fast. I do have a lot of individual learning going on in my classes. The kids seem to be really interested. I find myself always getting more information for them. FILL THEIR HEADS!! In past teaching positions it seemed to be very mediocre, very mundane. Right now, the kids are fine. Teaching is fine. Do I want more than fine?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fluorescent Lights are killing me

I don't know what it is today, but I can't see. The lights are so bright today, and there is no real way that I can adjust them. Plus, I'm trying to teach shading so that doesn't help. We're doing a 5 step scale and here I am shading these forms with shade 5 (the darkest) and then I turn around to look at my class and there's a weird haze and I can't see straight. This probably means that I should also be wearing my glasses more often now. Oh well. And I should probably go get them checked anyway. My hearing is going, no my sight.. Soon it will be all my joints and organs... Is this what happens in your 30's. I didn't sign on for this at all.

Yesterday I had a request for pictures of pyramids. We're doing landscapes and he wants to do an Egyptian Landscape. So I went home and pulled together some photos. And it was actually neat to look back on them at this point. It's really cool to think I was really there and saw the pyramids kind of regularly. So I put an assortment together, including Saqqara, the Red Pyramid, and of course Giza. I also brought some of Luxor, Aswan, and Karnak (one of my favorite places). So we'll see what these kids think about the pictures.

Anyway, I better go take some advil or something. My head feels like a headache is coming on.. Yep, better wear my glasses.

I feel like I had things in mind to talk about. Oh right, North Korea... uh, duh. I seem to remember that being an issue when the Iraq war started. And the government just pushed that aside, and now here we are 3 years later. Did you know that someone bought Ptolemey's (spelling?)atlas for almost $4 million! WOW! Amazing. If I'm ever rich enough to just buy an object for 4 million dollars then I would by old maps and stuff. I love those things. Alas, I don't even have $1,000,000, so I don't think that's in the near future. Plus, a house would be nice to have someday. And Lebanon is having an international movie festival! Wow! That's a country I wish I could have gone to while I was away. Oh well.

Ok- advil.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Saved? In more ways than one

First of all I am saved from the ants and maggots. Yes. I move to my new place in December. Can't wait to be free of that. Having my own kitchen and not having to hide in my giant room when I'm home. Did I mention I don't even want to eat in the kitchen, let alone prepare anything.

Second, I don't want to be "saved" by born-againers call it. I wanted to poke my eardrums out with a fork yesterday. I had to set up my computer in another class yesterday and the woman listened and sang-a-long with christian radio...ALL DAY. NO people, NO! Stop it!

Thirdly, I am finally getting stuff done at work. Apparently we're getting some cabinet space, so I can lock supplies up and not have to worry about who is getting thier grubby hands on my art supplies. Thank goodness. Not that it's been a huge problem, but it does happen from time to time.

Ok. We'll it is Tuesday, I get to listen to my own music today, I can dream about my new place, and my supplies are all here. It's a pretty good start.

Monday, October 09, 2006


This weekend was a bit of a strange one. I can't quite explain where the time went, I just know it went. I dunno.

Friday I went to dinner with my friend Ruth and her husband, who has come back from 2 exhausting tours in Iraq. I had never met him before, but it was nice to finally sit down all together and talk. And...we talked, and talked, and talked. It was interesting because I had never spoken to anyone first hand about the Iraq war, the politics of it etc... Although it was Friday night, and it would have been nice to have a light night... it was serious. He's out now. And glad to be out.

Saturday I managed to make it to the NEW and IMPROVED American Art Museum with my friend, Jeremy, which is connected to the National Portrait Gallery! Simply amazing, beautiful. It just blew me away and I had no idea how big it was. I saw so much stuff, way too fast. I need to go back and spend some more time just seeing what's there. It got a bit crowded in some of the areas, but mostly it felt free enough to walk around. Upstairs they have like a catalogued area where all these paintings and sculptures are just in these cases, labeled. It's strange. It's like going into someone's closet. But amazing. I realize that I just need to go downtown more often and look around, walk around. It's so close. Who says I can't be a tourist in my own town Well, it may not be my own town... but it's close enough.

The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing. Mostly trying to remain inspired by all that I saw, while texting my sister who was in Nashville (why she drove down to Nashville I don't know, but apparently she had a good time, or was in the process of having a good time).

Sunday I took my time, got up and drove to my parents. I really like that drive. It's so relaxing and pretty. The colors are starting to change more, and I have a feeling it will be at it's peak next week. It was a beautiful day yesterday. I ended up watching the world baking championships for some reason. The Japanese won. Which really doesn't seem like a society that eats bread, but then again, what do I know. I've never been there. I do know that when Japanese admire something, or someone they go for it. It's a respect thing. So they must love bread. The French managed to burn their bread! Their French! Known for their bread, everyone tries to make a baguette like the French.. but they still managed to come in 4th in the world. It's fixed... I tell you. US came in a lame second.

We've been having rain lately, but now it's back to being warm. Today it's supposed to be up in the 70's. WOW!

Someone seriously needs to save me from my work place. I don't know what it is, but everyone seems to be uber religious. We're at school folks. I can't stand it. Hello? Separation of church and state. I'm all for people finding their own spiritual flavor, but it's not appropriate in the work place. What if I bring in my Buddha and Dalai Lama picture, or I start saying Namaste to everyone. Hey, I already throw around Insh'allah, and I'm not even Muslim Whatever people's religion is, I don't really care. But it's just hard to be around it.

I am supposed to find out about the apartment today. I hope it's ago. If I get it, I won't be able to move until the first week or so of December, but it's around the corner. Next weekend I'll be apartment sitting for a friend, and then First weekend in November I head out to Missouri. Then Thanksgiving a few weeks later... And then.. maybe I can move.

Until then, I'm sitting in someone else's classroom, doing my work because I can't seem to get on the internet or server anywhere else.... Don't ask me why, I just work here. (BTW..there is Christian radio lunch I'm going to get my Ipod out of the car)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Yep, it's Friday

So I can't really check my e-mail today, but I seem to be able to put out a short blog. I can't get on the server for my school district, so I can't do any work. Quel dommage.... Anywho, it's raining up a storm over this way. Which I have to say is kind of a welcome sight to me. Even though (you're going to laugh at this) I left my window open in my car and my driver seat is soaking wet. Yep, never done that one before. I have no idea how I forgot, or got disracted, it must have been that huge package I saw on the doorstep from Amy and Travis, and I couldn't look away, there-by forgetting to put my car window all the way up. So, needless to say, I get in my car at o-dark-thirty (as my dad used to say) and I sit, thinking my car is cold. NO!!! It's wet, silly. I immediately have to run back up two flights of stairs, grab some towels, change my pants, and figure out how to keep myself dry. I ended up putting two towels down and then set my raincoat over it, and I managed to keep semi-dry. My poor car. It's brand new. For sure it's going to smell now. I was doing so well.

And, didn't get coffee today. But classes seem to be going smoothly today, hung up some art work. It isn't all bad. It just started off rather bad. But it's gotten better. Always look on the bright side of life (whistle....).

Today I get to see an apartment! How exciting. I think if it seems clean and decent I'm probably going to take it. I wouldn't be able to move there until around the end of December, so I would have to suffer through the ants and what-nots at the other place. I think she might suspect that I'm looking. I mean, come on, I never ever cook! EVER. What does she think I eat. I think she makes up stories in her head about me. Ha, who knows. I don't know how someone could actually be so clueless to think that this is actually working for me. It works for her. It's her house and she's making a lot of money off of me for doing nothing. I shouldn't sound harsh. She's a nice person. She does a lot. But it's as plain as the nose on my face that it's not working for me. The place that I'm looking at is spacious, and is cheaper than where I live now, and it would probably balance out with a few added utilities. So I'm happy about that. Plus it's either a one bedroom or two bedroom, can't remember which right now... So Pattersons...Welshies.... you could come back and visit this summer and you'd have a room!!
Ok, the bell for lunch rang... it kind of sounds like big Ben..

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where else can one go to meet a.....

..nun who's taught geometry for 40 years
... a clergy from Leeds, England
.... a 3 star general
..... the CEO of National Geographic
...... the Post Master General

I'll tell you where! A Spellman reunion. I was invited to go to the National geographic Museum for a reception with a friend of mine, it was her high school reunion. And who do I get to meet? All those people, and then some. How about an oncologist, or an insurance agent. All kinds were there. It was really funny that I was there. All the people at this cocktail hour were older, and definitely more established. But there is definitely something interesting about being in a room full of all different kinds of people. I also enjoyed the exhibits. Most of it was photography, which is what we always remember about NG. There was an exhibit about football (or soccer as we American like to call it). They had 2 pictures of soccer being played in Egypt, near the Giza pyramids. One of the pictures showed street kids playing soccer in a middle of a dirt road in front of the Great Pyramid, and the other a couple of kids playing soccer with in the walls of the Mena House Hotel. Very interesting to show those too pictures together. It doesn't matter where you come from, or what you do... Apparently soccer (or football) makes the world go 'round.

Anyway, it was an interesting night last night. AND!!! AND!!! I even made it back for he series premiere of LOST! IT was great. I am so addicted. I tried to stay up and watch "The Nine", it looks good, but I just don't want to get interested. I may have to watch it at a later time.

I also listened to " All things Considered" last night while I was going to the event, and they did a little spot on "The Decemberists"! What a great way to end the day. And!! And!! Death Cab will be in town in November.. I really want to go, but I don't know if I can...

Decisions, decisions....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

At least I'm alive

The computer is killing me. I can't connect properly to the server. And I have work to do.

The kitchen is filthy. I won't even begin to tell you what was crawling on the floor yesterday. It's enough to make anyone nauseous. But let me just tell you this. Remember that show, "You Can't Do That on Television". That kid show that the friendly neighbors to the north produced and gave us locker jokes like: "Hey Christina" "Yea, Alistair" "Did you hear the one about...?"

Anyway, there was also the "I don't know" slime gimmick, and then who could forget Bart's burgers... was it Bart? Anyway, what they always talked about during that skit, always grossed me out. He always served a special dish.... remember what it was called? Well, I do, and that's why I couldn't eat dinner last night. I don't understand how she lives like she does. Needless to say, I called 4 apartment buildings to inquire about places to live. I just can't be happy there. It's not worth it at all.

This morning there were still ants crawling on the table. It's disgusting. It's been weeks. I couldn't even eat my breakfast. It just stresses me out. It's unnecessary. If she would spend more time caring for her home, she'd probably feel more happy too. I know how I'm going to feel more happy... I'm going to move.

I'd love to buy a place down here and I am going to look into that After all, it's a buyers market right now. However, it may require me to move further out. We'll see how it goes.

Enough ranting for one day. I get to go the National Geographic Society tonight. I'm really excited about that. There's a reception and a speaker. I've never been there, but I hear it absolutely beautiful.

Monday, October 02, 2006


r that amount of time and not going anywhere.

Ok, so I guess my sentence, or my blog, kind of got cut off yesterday. It's probably my fault. I was a bit distracted. It was just one of those days. I spent a couple of hours driving to my parents house, and then just hung out and decided to get on the internet while I was there. It's free and all. And there, and fast.

It was actually a beautiful fall day in the DC area yesterday. I always go on the GW parkway, and it goes along the Potomac River. The water was glistening. The clearest sky. The monuments looked like they actually beamed. It was a picture perfect day. I wish I had my camera, and I would have stopped along the way to take a few pictures. You could see all the monuments, and even the Washington Cathedral in the background along with the old buildings of Georgetown. I told my parents that I wished they had come down instead of me going up there. But, then I never would have been able to stop at the Catoctin Mountain Orchards. I love that place. It's been there for years. And it's a place my family used to stop on the way to my grandparents house, back in the day. Good memories. They still give out free apples. And now they've added more canned goods and jars of their delicious preserves. They have the best apples, and the best apple cider. APPLE CIDER! I love that stuff.

It's been an up and down weekend, but I guess it's something to build on. This week I have a lot of plans to get moving, on moving again.. Not far away, just my own place. I think as soon as I do that, I'll be much better off.

Ok, back to work. It's Monday for sure. Looks like Monday, feels like Monday.. I hope the week goes fast.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

At least I didn't have 31 fiascoes...

Yes, each birthday is met with different expectations, and different ideas of what it will be like and how to celebrate, and how it should end. This year is no exception. Aside from the fact that it is a lot different from last year (for one I'm not in Egypt), this year I wanted to do something different, something I had not done before. Well, I did accomplish that. I wanted (wanted....) to go to the wine festival in Leesburg, VA. A nice quaint town on the outskirts of the heavy traffic of the metro area of DC. Katie and I bought out tickets ahead of time on line, and were very excited to go. We met at her house atround 11:00 am, grabbed some coffee and made our way out. Sure we hit a couple of traffic spots, who doesn't? But we were excited to get on our way to drink some wine. We were 5 miles from the venue when we hit the big traffic. 4 lanes were merging together,creating the slowest traffic I had seen sine pre-Iftar traffic exiting the Khan El Khalili! Seriously! We did not move. By the time we reached that area it was already 1 pm. But we thought, surely there must be an accident, or something. No, it was everyone with in the tri-state area heading for this festival. And I exaggerate. These weren't people from teh tristate area, they were all coming from the tri county area! Anyway, it took us another hour to go one mile. One little tiny mile.. I can run a mile in about 7-8 minutes... Ridiculous.. So we go on, we think we can get through, and get to it in a timely fashion. A half hour passes, hardly any movement. People are getting out of their cars to go to a restaurant to use the bathroom, and then walking about a half block to catch up to their car. At that point we're coming up with a plan B. Plan B is to turn around and go out to eat. We give it about 15 more minutes, and realize in about another 1/2 hour people will start exiting the venue and we'll be stuck in the traffic going the other way. So we jump on that. Turn through the median and go back to Manassas park. We hang out, pretend that the Wine Festival was oh so fabulous and a rip roaring good time, and then head out to eat.
Yes, disappointed, I don't think I've sat in a car fo

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm ok, you're ok

This is a great article. It says I'm ok having my coffee every morning. I was worried about it because my sleep habits. But I'm good.... Now if I could just curb my chocolate habit.

Ahh anyway, I also survived the storm last night, and my car did too. I was worried that a tree might fall on it. My neighborhood is older and trees go down. But we all survived. I guess it ushered in the new fall weather, because it was a little chilly this morning. NICE! I'm so happy it's fall. I've been waiting for it for years (well at least 2). It's truly the best season. The colors really haven't started changing around here. I'm not sure if they'll get to bright this year, because it was kind of a dry summer, but a little is better than none. This weekend I'm headed up to my parent's house and I plan on stopping by the roadside stand to pick up some cider and apples, and whatever fall-like items I can get my hands on.

Yesterday I went to this strange cocktail party with my housemate. It really wasn't my scene, but she was invited to go and she offered to take me. So we go, in the middle of this storm to this restaurant, wind blowing everywhere, getting rained on, no power in half the places. The place it filled with random people. Anyway, I was going for free food and wine. My housemate was looking for a date apparently. So, realizing that was the goal I just kind of faded into the background. I didn't really want to be there, and given the age of the people, and the fact that it seemed to be kind of like an employee party, I felt really out of place. Ahh, well, at least I didn't have to sit in the dark at home.

We ventured back home and there was still no power. So I just lit a bunch of candles and happily read my book and turned in early. I was happy about it. The lights finally were put back on, I got up and turned them back off. Sleep-- it's such a good thing.

Well, back to organizing my grades and getting everything settled before the weekend gets here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ok, I'm convinced

I need to move out. Even though the space is nice, and I like the set up. It's just not working and it's just not worth the money I'm paying for it. So I'm going to start looking. It's not that I don't get along with them, it's all that other stuff. The dirty kitchen with ants every, the child slamming doors, and the dog not getting taken care of. It's just not worth my energy. Plus I need my own kitchen. I don't really know why I tried without one.

We'll see what happens. I'm looking at a place I used to live, and a few other places. The good thing about this is I have time. I'm not locked into anything because I don't have an official lease.. Which is a good thing.

Other then that, school continues to be more busy than I ever expected with a lot of expectations placed on seemingly perfect paperwork. I thought I was just a teacher, but now I'm an administrative assistant too. It seems to me like there is too much stuff for one person to do for their class. The goodness is, I have tomorrow and Friday without students. We do have parent conferences, but I think not too many every come. So that's fine.

Argh.. Now I have to get to an art meeting, to discuss what my expectations will be for that too.. Yeah, not only that but I have a commitment to what I teach, how I teach and a stupid PEP binder.... You don't even want to know what I have to do for that. And I have to sign up for a professional development something...

It is almost the weekend, and even though they go fast, I enjoy them, so I can't complain. So....I guess I won't. I'll just leave it at that.

Beautiful fall weather is here. It's sunny, very cool in the mornings, but warms up during the day, not hot anymore, or humid. This weekend looks great. I've missed a lot of falls....But now it's back to them..Hip Hip--- hurray!!!

Pictures will try to be added soon, because I did go to Alaska, I bet none of you believe me that I went.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another week passes

Its been a crazy week. I had to enter all my grades in the computer twice. The first time all my files on the server became corrupt. How that's possible when it's only my stuff..... I have no idea. They're supposed to come and look at it all today. So hopefully I won't have to do it again.

The paperwork is crazy for this joint. It would be simple if everyone could get everything on the computer. But when one or more people have problems, then it holds everything up.

Did a stupid thing... I had kids make contour line drawings (not the stupid part) of their hands (the stupid part). Yes, they did make gang symbols with their hands. Although some of them, I don't think they meant to, it just happens to look like it. So now, pretty much all my students are going to get in trouble.. Note to self, have students do contour line drawings of their shoes... Oh no wait, if they tie their shoes a strange way that might mean something too.. AHHHH!

Seriously though, Anything can pretty much be a symbol of gangs these days. I know that in my place of work now it can't and shouldn't be taken lightly, but come on....

It's ok, this week we're doing tessellation, I wonder what they'll hide in those. Next up, one-point perspective... oh no... Buildings.

Anyway, had a better weekend. I went out to eat in DC on Friday. It was so good. One of the best meals I've had in a really long time. The place was called the Blue Duck Tavern, I think. It's in the Park Hyatt hotel. It was a nice restaurant, got all dressed up for once in my life. I had a vegetarian dish made of (this is going to sound strange to some of you) grits, with cheese, chantarelle mushrooms, and some greens. We also had side dishes of garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, arugula with lemon vinaigrette, and snap peas. And it didn't stop there, I had a plum and blackberry crisp with hand-churned vanilla ice cream for desert, along with a cappucino. It was so good. After dinner we just walked around the Foggy Bottom a little bit and headed back. It was a great night though. Beautiful weather.

Then Saturday, my sister came to visit. We had a really nice time. Low-key, I don't think either one of us felt like going out. So we went to Georgetown (I got lost) then had a nice dinner at a Thai place and came back and watched a movie. She then treated me to breakfast the next day and headed back to PA.

You really have to watch the weekends. They just seem to disappear around here. It's not fair. I didn't go hiking this weekend, either... But I had my last day of Yoga on Saturday, and now I wish I'd signed up for the next 6 weeks. Oh well.
This week looks like it will be much like the same. School is school, and I think we'll have a few parent meetings. But not much else. This weekend I'm going to a wine festival and then maybe pop on up to Gettysburg to see my parents... and the Lhotse.

Have to start looking for my own apartment. I just wish I had more time, and the internet at home... That would be good.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not cooking anymore

Ok, so there's an ant problem in the kitchen, I can't eat spinach anymore because someone can't irrigate the water safely. And I'm doomed to get salmonella poisoning...Why? You may ask. I don't eat chicken, meat, or even fish (well occasionally). Last night I was fixing "dinner" (consisting of a sandwich). And I'm sitting down at the table watching my housemate make her meal for herself, daughter, and daughter's friends. She is chopping raw chicken on a cutting board. No problem, people do it all the time, the only problem I have is the fact that she cut it, and didn't clean the board. She took a sponge and swiped it across the surface. That's it. WHAT? That's it? Needless to say, I won't be using the cutting board ever again, and now I really will be searching for a new place. Proof that I just need my own kitchen. Seriously, if I invited you over for dinner, would you want to eat what I had made since you know my kitchen status? The answer is no. No you wouldn't. Because I don't even want to eat there, and I live there.

So....Here's a little link for you, although, you are probably not the one that needs it, my housemate does.

When I leave her house, and move somewhere else and she asks me why I'm moving maybe I'll just hand her a book about kitchen safety.

Looks like I can post pictures. I'll try it soon.

In other news, I'm putting 2 students on independent study in art. Should be kind of fun for me. These kids are really excited about art, and really have a lot of good ideas. I need to help them formulate a plan so they can make a decent portfolio. Hopefully when they leave here, they'll have a body of work to show someone and get some more guidance. We'll see, teenagers are known for having big ideas, but aren't quite sure how to follow through on things. I hope I don't end up doing most of the work for them. I'm just happy to be teaching older students. I don't think I ever want to go back to the little guys.... Not that I don't like the little ones, just that maybe I needed a break from them for a while, and this is it.

Ok, enough for today.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekends go too fast

One good thing about this Monday is that I no longer have to set up my classroom. Yes I'm art on the cart, but they put new cafeteria like tables in all the lounges. So no unstacking tables and no lifting chairs. It was getting really old really fast. I thought to myself, if I were older, out of shape, and unhappy with my job I wouldn't care, and I wouldn't set up the tables... So now I don't have to think about that. Not that I think I'm going to stay here until I'm 60, but one never knows. I can't really imagine staying any place longer than a 2 year span. :-)

Caught up on massive quantities of Lost. For those of you who are going to be watching the second season abroad this year, I will not spoil.. But I will say this, it's good. It's so good, it makes me want to watch it over and over again. I can't wait for Season 3... I have dreams about it all. I really do. I have about 3 more episodes to finish!

Doing something great by being art penpals with my friend Ellen. We start a piece of art and then send it to each other to have the other one finish it. Then I guess we send it back once it's finished and do it again. I send mine out today. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but at least it's something... And that's good.

Can't believe that my housemate asked me if I had anything in the fridge that was old and smelly... Sister, please.... Why no, as a matter of fact, because nothing in there is mine. Whatever...... I keep telling myself it's all for the greater good. But I don't know... We'll see if I make it through.

Last week I had a strange hiking experience. This old man asked me what time it was and then all of a sudden he had me locked into some kind of storytelling session. Which wasn't good because I didn't know how to get out of it. And then he kept coming closer and closer. And then finally these people passed by and I told him I had to go catch up with them. Maybe I should rethink the whole hiking alone thing. I probably won't though. I'll just try to go with friends.....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Meet the parents

Last night we had a parents night at the D-home. It was very interesting. We had a few that showed up, and considering we only have about 42 kids right now, we saw about 12 parents. It was interesting to meet with one parent, who right off bugged me and you could immediately figure out why their kid was in there. I was trying to pay the student a compliment to his parent and the parent immediately compared the kid to a sibling. WHAT! NO WONDER! There was one parent I really liked, gentle, caring, the student probably just finally got caught doing the wrong thing. The student is smart intelligent, and pretty outspoken..Which is nice for a change. I hate wishy-washy.
It went well, I hate speaking in front of adults, especially parents. I always manage to turn red. In front of kids, not so much.
I can't believe it's starting to turn into fall. I'm already wearing long sleeve shirts and jeans. It's nice, but I have a feeling that this winter is going to be brutal for me. The nights are nice and cool right now, which is definitely a big change from Egypt. I don't miss those hot nights, with the old, barely working, loud air conditioner.
Think I'll be heading out to Kansas City in November to visit my friends. I'm excited to go somewhere I've never been. I love travel, although I wish I could jus beam myself there instead of flying. Such is life.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A new start

Since I have a hard time updating the other blog, I'm switching again. This will make it easier for me to write. I only have internet at school, and I can get on this website.
There's a lot going on, but at the same time there is not. I am enjoying my job, my life, it seems like it's on track lately.

I feel very free to do what I want (except cook a lot, which won't change until I get up the gumption to move...I'm just to lazy right now).

So, things I'm looking forward to:
The wine festival
Hiking weekly
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins ( I can go to shows now!)

School is fine. We have only about 42 students right now, but I have a unit with girls, and one of them is just pushing my buttons. And it doesn't help that the female d-home staff isn't that great....Don't get me started. I do like working with this population, it's secure and makes me feel a little claustrophobic sometimes, but it will work for now. If I could save enough money to buy a place here, I would...But I don't think that's going to happen. Getting coaxed to move to Kansass City from my great friends, but I don't know. I don't think I would make a great mid-westerner.

On another note.... a lemur will be leading that stupid rockstar band. Oh well. I got sucked in and denied. Oh well. Time to get engrossed into other "reality" type shows...right? Let's hope not. I would like to stay off my couch for now. Except to watch LOST!!

Ok, I better run and see who I can actually send this out to.. sorry for the change in this. I don't think I can post pictures here either, but that's ok. I don't think I'll be doing much picture taking in the near future......