Thursday, December 20, 2007

One more day!

One more day of school and it's off for just over a week. Now, a week may sound a lot to some people, however, I am going to complain a bit. I'm tired, I need a break, we've had such a revolving door at work it's making my head spin. It's not that I don't like my job. I love it! In fact last year at this time I was so frustrated that I liked what I did, but couldn't bare the commute or the horrible administrator that took the joy out of everything. What a difference a year makes in all ways! So, not that I'm doing too much over break. I just plan on relaxing and reading, going to movies, visiting friends and family, and did I mention relaxing?

And... it's the cookie bake off. I'm really trying to get into the swing of things. Since I'll be going all over the place for the holidays, the least I can do is bring some tasty treats.

Argh, the only wrench in this whole relaxing plan is the pain in my arm. Some may remember that I attempted to play some softball over in Cairo... Well, I literally threw my arm out. And I'm paying for it now. Every time I move my arm to reach something, or brush my hair, or turn on my side when I'm trying to sleep, I hear creaking and cracking sounds... Like bone on bone. So lucky me, after the holidays I'll have to go have it looked at (again). It hasn't sounded this bad or felt this bad ever. And it's lasted for over 2 weeks. Ugh... It really feels agitated when I paint. I think I need to officially become ambidextrous. I only say it that way because I really did write with both hands long long ago... I know, just another factoid to show how strange I am.

Anyway, Happy Holidays to all!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Christmas Time in the City...

This weekend was a fun one. Friday was chilly, and a little wet, but "J" and I headed into DC and went to "Olives", a really nice Italian restaurant downtown. It was good too. I had butternut squash tortellini with a delicious sage and brown butter sauce, with a nice feta salad. Then for desert we split a "fallen" chocolate cake.... Also had some really nice wine. So yummy, and my belly was full.
Saturday was non-stop craziness! Full of driving, parking, and crazy shopping all around downtown. I think I went all over the place in DC. I managed to find a few things, but "J" was the one on the prowl for presents. We had a hard time finding a parking spot, so we gave up and went into a parking garage, can you say ripped off? I hate parking in those things. He found some good presents for some of his friends and families. It's then that I realized I wasn't done shopping for everyone yet... so I have some work to do this week. Ugh. My dad is the toughest. And I realized I don't have he benefit of living anywhere exotic this year, so I really need to think. Last year I waited and and waited and came up with something lame for him. So I need to try really hard. And my sisters!! Don't even get me started... Honestly, they should just get coal.... hummm... now that's an idea.

Saturday night I invited R and E over to help decorate the tree. I'm so happy that I finally have my own tree. I unpacked all of my treasured ornaments. I had forgotten my mom had given me some of the pretty German ones we acquired while we were living there. It's starting to look pretty. It needs some tinsel though... Yes I come from a tinsel happy family. We very carefully put each strand on the tree as if to simulate the dripping of water falling down the tree's branches. It's almost like practicing some from of zen.
But here are some pics anyway.... in reverse order........


Me and J



E and Me (husband of R --below, we're growing beards for Santa..hohoho)


R and me




Chimney sweep and Santa Claus



I like this picture. We're all in it, and we're all focused on doing something different.


The bare tree! I'm naked!!!
Until next time.... Keep warm.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Wow, snow! Now, I know some of the people a little north of me got dumped on. But I have to say it was a little serene to watch the snow fall from inside the D-home. Most of the kids were super-chill today. All making for a cozy, warm feeling that echoed through the halls..... just kidding!

The kids did enjoy seeing the snow, however, it brought about constant disruption and what if's all day long. Except from the girls. They actually were super-chill, and are loving every second of my class.... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, I love that class. There's 12 of them, which actually is a lot for the girls unit, but they love ART! YES! Finally! Some girls come in here so hard and so tough, they just keep up the attitude and appearance of being a "hater" , but really, once they're here, they warm up, they melt the ice away. If only they could feel so comfortable with themselves outside the d-home.. -sniff-

In other news. My upstairs students finally finished their sports drawings for the PE room. It was a long time coming, and they look AWESOME! They came out great. Unfortunately we can't hang them in a normal fashion, so I had to laminate them. NO glass allowed anywhere.

SAFETY FIRST!

In the mean time, I'm working really hard on a painting right now, but it's disastrous, I may just do it all over. So frustrated by everything about it. Color, composition...... SO I plan on working on it the rest of this week and next week. But then, I'm done. I think it's been in front of me too long.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hurry! The holidays are coming!

All you need is the letter "A" to make it into "Hurray". Coincidence, I think not. But I think I'll stick with hurry. I managed to put up some lights already! Wow, how very unlike me. It must be this blustery weather we're having. This next weekend we're even venturing out and attempting to find a tree that may fit in my tiny apartment. I'm hoping for something kind of thin and tall.

I'm not lucky enough to live in Egypt anymore, so that means I can't have new clothes tailored to fit me. Too bad I only realized it was possible towards the end of my stay in Cairo to take advantage of such a thing. But, I digress. So, in light of a formal event I have to attend in a week and 1/2 I decided to order a dress ( only tried on like 30 of them at the mall). It's nice, probably the most expensive piece of clothing I own, and hopefully I won't just wear it once, and.... hopefully it will work for this thing I gotta go to. Not that it's a bad thing to go to a birthday party, but a formal birthday party? When I'm 70 I hope people treat me that well.

I can't believe that winter is upon us. Luckily we've escaped the snow, thus far, but the wind is heinous. The wind rattles my windows and has sent all the remaining leaves off the trees. Just makes me want to crawl into a little hole, read a book, and enjoy some nice warm cider. Mmmmmmm...cider.

In just a few weeks I can re-watch "Lost: Season 3". I think it will be mailed to me before the new year! Holy crap? A new year? I don't even really want to think about that just yet. I'm not ready. One step at a time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

For all my NM homies

Glad to see the Albuquerque is still tearin' it up. I thought that the Sandia's were in background of "No Country for Old Men". And it was!!! Not only that but one of the final scenes-- Central Ave. I don't know if I can remember the cross street correctly... Past where that god-awful, ugly building was-- tall, falling apart. Empty for years! That was it.. Not as far east as San Mateo (I don't think).

The other movie that was at least filmed in NM--- "Wild Hogs". Yep, I know, not my cup of tea either.. the things you do for friends.. Madrid, NM was in that one.

Ok, time to finish up my leftover Thai!! YUM!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Catching up...

I guess it was about a month ago, but J and I went down to Charlottesville. We climbed up this little mountain, and it was breathtaking. Humpback Rocks.

On the way to the trail.

Beautiful foliage. It was an amazing day. A little brisk, and slightly windy. But very Crisp, just like fall air should be.


A view from Humpback Rocks. Had to take this shot so J could see it... He's afraid of heights....

So what else has been going on.....

Ok, so no Decemberists. Cancelled tour, I guess it's just not meant to be with that band. I mean, I've tried to see them several times, and then I was away in Egypt. Thought this was my moment. I did get my money back, so now I'll just have to keep my eyes and ears open for someone else who suits my fancy.
Had a great weekend with out them. And I had today off. What does that mean? Sleeping in! Of course. It's my new indulgent habit. Now, you may be thinking, " But you never sleep!" . Well I do now, people. Ambien-----take me away.

Last week I had many doctor's visits. Found out a lot about my health. And what can I say about it? Well, I'm a-o-k. So far. I'm still waiting for blood tests. Last week I got a really strange phone call from my doctor. She built up all kinds of strange suspense with just one voice mail message. However, she also tried to call me like 4 times. I couldn't answer because I was at school. So I called back to make an appointment. The closest appointment was Wednesday! Yikes, I had to wait that long to see what she was going to say??? I had a few sleepless nights, a couple of google researches to try and figure out what she was going to say about my impending test results. I was starting to think about the big "C". Everything we had talked about led me straight there.

Well, I go to the office. She sits me down and says ," You have E. Coli." WHAT??? THANK GOD, I'm thinking. "Thank God", I say. I told her I was worried she was going to tell me something else. She smiles and she starts asking where she thinks that I might have come in contact with E.Coli bacteria. I tell her that I eat salad everyday at the cafeteria, and she says," Ahh, that must be it". In fact I'm SURE that's it too. She said it just must have built up in my system. I had been feeling pretty ill for the past few weeks, loss of weight and all that. But I couldn't figure it all out. NOW it all makes sense.

Just what I needed, E.Coli. I think it must be gone now. Thank God. But I had to tell the people at work. So I told the nurse, and she had the cafeteria shut down and cleaned. And from now on, I'm bringing my own lunch. No more d-home salads... ugh... I don't wish this on anyone either. You feel horrible.
SO the weekend was a celebration of sorts... I'm not dying! I don't have some kind of lymphoma, and I'll be fine. Watched some movies this weekend. And indie one," You, Me and Everyone Else". Good if you like really strange stories that connect people together-- pretty funny too. Then J and I went to see ," No County for Old Men".... Very gritty, dark, real, good story telling, amazing character development, disturbing, and depressing..... You know me. Filmed by the Cohen Brothers, so if you like their style...you'd like this. Apparently much like the book, that's what J said, anyway.
Lots of great meals this weekend too. It all began with Risotto (by J) then ended with Tacos (by me). I'm going to have to prepare for Thanksgiving. Not sure what will be served up in G-burg, but I'm supposed to bring a few items....I think I'll be making a roasted vegetable lasagna, and maybe some kind of butternut squash soup for the vegetarians... me and J.
Working on a painting too. It's kind of disastrous right now. But it will improve. It's for K and S. I just can't figure out what kind of colors to use. They love color, and I only like color. Every time I try to use large amounts of color I hate it. I'm all about toning a lot of it down right now.
Whew-- back to school tomorrow. But a short week. And the next week an even shorter week. Work has been good, though, so I can't complain. I just always feel like there is only so much I can do. I'm considering taking on an extra class with the school that is next to the detention center. Most of the kids at this "halfway house" go to their own school, but there is a hand full of them that stay there the whole day, and I'm sure they can use some creative outlet. So two days a week I might head on over there just to give them a little something.
Alright, wow, my day off is coming to a close. I think it will be time to curl up and read a book and enjoy the last 2 hours of daylight.....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

November, already

Time just seems to fly lately, the weather changed, we fell back an hour. The extra hour of sleep probably did me a little good.

I just got my new passport. It only took 4 weeks. Kind of surprising when you hear about the backlog of applicants and all that. I suppose it's because I've had a passport in my possession my whole life. No strange background checks needed. They know where I've been. The new passport is rather strange, though. It's very---- American. It used to be a kind of non-decrypt identification book that just held visas and stamps of various locations around the world. Now, on every single page there is a picture of a national landmark and a famous American quote. That doesn't seem to make sense. Are other countries passports this ornate? Why? Do we really need another reason for other countries to hate us? Are all these things on the diplomat passports? I'm actually kind of scared to travel now. If you stamp on top of the pictures it would be really hard to see what that stamp said, or even a visa. Doesn't seem like homeland security is doing me any favors by adding these images on my piece of identification.

Anyway, glad I have it, let the traveling begin... anywhere in Asia, the islands...Iceland??? I'd go anywhere. J has to get a new passport and then we can plan.

Can't wait for the weekend to get here.... Decemberists! Can't wait to see them. I heard that they put on a good show. I guess other people do to, they're performing over 3 nights at the 9:30 Club.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The BEAST

So, here I am in KCMO, for another trip. I know, hold me back....right? But I do like to see my friends who live here. I must be a good friend, you're thinking.

Well, yes.

But they are good friends too. We do all sorts of fun things together. Like go to scary movies, watch scary movies, and go to haunted houses, drive to scary yards. It's all good.

Last night we went to a haunted house called "The BEAST". We got lost in werewolf forest, which was fun and scary at first, but then just more annoying because we couldn't find the way out. The whole house was pretty amazing. It's built in an abandoned warehouse downtown. I don't know how many floors it was, but there were a couple of really long slides we had to go down. Of course, to make the slides even more slippery they put talcum powder all over the slide and we had white stuff all over our clothes. It came off, but at first, it was everywhere, and mean everywhere. Like I probably swallowed the stuff.

The theme was a New Orleans House. But there were several themes. Like the forest, a torture room, some crazy laser light places, a medieval maze, skeleton-attacking area, hillbilly chain saw room, coffin room, people under the stairs, giant scary alien BEAST! And of course the random people coming out of nowhere telling us to give them our spleen...or gallbladder, can I at least have your gallbladder?

It was a fun time. And after that we made our way to a couple of bars. We went to a really nice, swanky gay bar for a martini and a pizza full of basil. Then headed over to a cabaret bar (do you see a theme?) where there was a performance of Broadway rock tunes! (yeah, well, I couldn't believe I was watching that either...but it was priceless) We saw some good costumes, especially the gal who had pigs blood all over her.....CARRIE! She looked awesome.

It's so funny to see adults waking around in costumes. We saw a bunch of people standing at a bus stop waiting to go somewhere festive. People coming in and out of restaurants.. What a great time of year, really. You get to be spooky, decorate your house with fake blood, carve pumpkins. Nice.

Anyway, it's a great trip so far. I leave on Tuesday -sniff-.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

sad

Deborah Kerr died. Not only was she a red-head, star of the King and I, and An Affair to Remember...we shared the same birthday.

Bob Seger comes to mind

Take Down, Shake Down, you're busted.

So, 3, count 'em 3 students got taken down today. And by that I mean heavily restrained by 2-3 adults (big adults). Not a pretty picture, and one of them happened in my classroom. It all happened kinda fast. Before I knew it, a chair broke and a couple of d-specialists had the kid in a couple of restraint positions. The kid kirked out! (freaked out) He actually went down in the hallway and 3 d-specialists took him back to his room--- 72 hours isolation-- at least, and then who knows what? Added time to his sentence.

No sooner did that happen, then a girl kirked out. This time, math class. And another -- PE. And actually another yep, I forgot about the 4th one--- this time, during lunch!

Things IS crazy! I'm fine though, I had to maintain my composure, and I did. I knew the kids wouldn't direct anything at me. If there is one thing I'd have to say about my class it would be that it is a pretty calm place....well, usually. The kids were pretty shocked about how it all escalated, but they were good. Except for the one kid who eventually freaked out at lunch. He was in my class at the time of the incident, and I guess he decided he wanted some attention too...he's like that.

Looking forward to tomorrow. I can't wait to get away from it all.......... Calgon, take me away.

I made a chocolate tart, and that's coming along with me. Can't wait to dig in!

C-ville here I come!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I knew there was another...

AND----------- "Pushing Daisies" is on tonight!! YES!!!!!

Some things..yet again

First, I miss my hair. That's right folks, I made the mistake of going to a place to get my hair trimmed. And what did she do? She chopped it! Don't get me wrong, I still have some length, but then she jacked it all up with some strange layers.... So, no more haircuts for another 6 months. Either it looks bad, or people didn't really notice, because no one except for one kid said something about my hair today. However, it is noticeably shorter.

Pictures to come soon.

Second. It's funny that I pass the place where police officers practice riding their motorcycles. They have to set up all these orange cones, and then weave in and out of them. Then they ride around in formation. hehehehe...

Third: "T" sent me this. It's pretty funny, and some of the comments are hilarious too.

http://gawker.com/news/escape-from-new-york/kansas-city-is-the-new-greenpoint-311864.php

Fourth: Bring forth the Friday! I can't wait to escape out of town!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A few things

I had planned to write about a lot of things last week, but it just slipped out of my mind. So I guess I'll just write about something I thought was really strange at work today.

I had to keep an ear out for phone calls today because no one was in the office today. I'm sitting in the secretary's chair and I'm looking at all the crap on the desk. It's decorated in purple. PURPLE everywhere! Pictures of her kids (or I guess they are her kids). Random things on the calendar. Then I start looking at posters on the wall. You know the kind "Teamwork" , "Responsibility" and all that. So I look at the teamwork one. It's of the "Great Wall of China" and in big letters it says "TEAMWORK: Many hands, many minds, one goal."

WTF, I say. The great wall? Teamwork? Ok, how many people were forced into slave labor? I could go on, but I think you know what I'm getting at here. Is that really the best picture to use? OH MAN! Never mind that it was a wall to keep people out!

I really need to start of thinking about the direction this blog is going to take. Since I'm not doing as much traveling, or exploring, I might just make it into something else. Daily ramblings are too boring, and I really don't want to share everything with the internet..i.e. THE WORLD!

I don't know.

Charlottesville this weekend! Excited for it. It will be nice to get out of town with "J", so looking forward to seeing some fall leaves, seeing some place different. I haven't been to C-ville since 7th grade, and I only visited UVA and the Monticello...both awesome, but I'm looking forward to seeing it with my own personal tour guide..... :-)

Then the next week I'm off to KC! To go into a haunted house or two, oh yeah, and also to see "A" and "T". Maybe I'll be able to post some pictures or something!! Maybe we'll actually take some pictures or something!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Someone's gettin' schooled

Children's Story -Slick Rick
Mary Mary -Run-DMC
It Takes Two -Rob Base & DJ E-Z
I Left My Wallet in El Segundo -A Tribe Called Quest
Flava In Ya Ear (Greatest Hits Version) -Craig Mack, Rampage & The Notorious B.I.G.
The Rain -Missy Elliott
Breathe and Stop -Q-Tip
Ready Or Not - Fugees (Refugee Camp)
Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See -Busta Rhymes
So Fresh, So Clean -OutKast
You Got Me -The Roots & Erykah Badu
Sang F├ęzi - Wyclef Jean
Cut Chemist Suite - Ozomatli
Doo Wop (That Thing) -Lauryn Hill
The Seed (2.0) -The Roots & Cody Chestnutt
Kick, Push -Lupe Fiasco
Geto Heaven, Pt. 2 (Remix T.S.O.I.) -Common, D'Angelo & Macy Gray
In the Ghetto -Elvis Presley

Ok, I admit, I watched Vh-1 Hiphop Honors. It inspired me to make my own mix. So I did. It's the first one. I want to include more, but it's one CD, 18 songs fit. Can't find Skee Lo (I wish). Or else that would have made the cut. Otherwise, this stuff flows. Can you feel it???

Monday, October 08, 2007

Change the weather please

I thought maybe by this time of year the 90 degree weather would be gone. I thought that I could change my tank tops in for sweaters. I thought that I'd be wearing shoes not sandals. Well people, it's global warming. It's not even an "Indian summer". You know why? Because we haven't had a first frost yet. They say by Wednesday or Thursday a change is going to be coming in. So maybe I should be relishing these last few summer-like days. You know, I think I should. I know that by February I will be pining for this summer heat.

This weekend was nice..busy too. Went to the Hirshhorn at night. It was nice. Tons of people there. We were able to walk through the museum. Even saw a video piece that was like this massive domino effect installation. It was crazy.l I think it went on for at least 1/2 hour. The artists used candles, foaming stuff, liquids, air, physics.... It was so funny to watch. We saw some art too, listened to a band, and heard a DJ spin some really bad 80's music (on purpose). It would have been nice to have a crowd there. So next month if they have one, I might encourage a group outing. They even had lovely beverages to purchase.....only, you had to stand in massive lines. But that's what people watching is for.

Also saw "Eastern Promises" . It was good. Kind of like "History of Violence", except I liked "History of Violence " better.

Couple more weeks until KC.

Then a couple more until the Decemberists..

And then a few more until Thanksgiving break.....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ok, I found 1

"Pushing Daisies"..it's a cute show. I will watch it until it ends...which will probably be after the first 6 episodes.

It's a new show about a guy who can bring things back to life. He has to touch them. Which means if he touches them again, they die. If he doesn't touch them within one minute, another person in the vicinity will die in exchange for the life that was reclaimed. Although, if he touches them again.. or they touch him, they will die...again.

So the premise. He brings to life his childhood sweetheart, only to know that they can never touch. --I know, tears. It's a quirky dramedy. Oh-- and the main character makes pies.

Anyway, not really watching Survivor....I watch about 1/2 of it and then switch channels, sorry "G".

Oh--- Hair is getting on my nerves, and darn long too. The special ed teacher pointed out to me that I still have well over 400 more days to go. Fight the power!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Many things

My throat hurts, I hate allergies.

It needs to rain. The leaves are just just drying up and falling this year. No beautiful colors because we've had no rain. Not that the rain we may get will make a difference in those leaves, but the drought could end.

SO, this should make you laugh...I'm walking down the street from Old Town, I had to pass the workers who are working on the road.. And peep this.. I heard," That hair joint is like pow." I nearly lost it laughing. What did it mean? "I really like your headband." Yep, good thing I can understand the colloquial language around here. Too bad that everything that is an object is referred to as a "joint", but whatever...

Who the heck is sending me "Prevention Magazine"? I'm not old!

The weather around here is gorgeous, but I'm waiting for the smack down...While every bit of me is hoping for a mild winter, I am fearing the worst.

No new tv shows are impressing me at all. Maybe that's a good thing. I won't watch and I can cancel my cable and save $50 a month.

Must start running again....I've been a serious slacker.

An updated version of my exact apartment is for sale on Washington street. Only a mere $300,000...that just makes me sick thinking about it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekend Spectacular

Whoa, time to recover from the weekend. Who would have thought? It all started Thursday. My sister and I ventured once again to the 9:30 club to catch Rilo Kiley. And it was well worth it. Front and center again we watched Jenny Lewis strut her stuff alongside of her amazing band mates. The opening bands weren't bad either. Art in Manila (part of Azure Ray) and Grand Ol' Party.. And we even got a bonus sighting of Winona Ryder! She must be following the band around...who knows.

Then Friday my parents came down and we had a family dinner of sorts. It was nice, and good to see them.... they drove back up to Gettysburg with "P" in tow. I guess I won't see them for a while since they're off to the beach (I'm slightly jealous).

Saturday was great. I caught up on a little sleep deprivation, and took it easy all morning, and made myself pancakes. Walked through Alexandria. Then I came back and prepared to get a little geared up for a little birthday celebration. "K&S" and "J" met up with me at home and then we all ventured out together to the Majestic Lounge to meet everyone else. It was the first time I had friends together from all different areas of my life. And the first time for them meeting "J". Everything was really good. The Majestic Lounge has changed a bit, no more brie (aw shucks) and the waitstaff forgot a bunch of orders. But music was good, until we moved upstairs-- yes less crowded, but music very very bad.

Sunday was great. Spent the day with "J" and we even played a little aerobie. Walked around Alexandria, and then made dinner. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. The weather was excellent, and I wish it could stay like this forever. The colors are muted, we need rain, but the temperatures and the sun are magnificent....it feels a little like NM. Speaking of, Math teacher going to ABQ for the balloon fiesta is bringing me back some green chili items! SO EXCITED !

So bring on the work week, I'm ready for it, and it might seem like a break, because the last few weeks and weekends have been jam packed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Amazing connections

I had to go to a meeting today over at the new High School. I wasn't looking forward to it, except for seeing the brand new classrooms. Otherwise, we were all just there to get a bunch of irrelevant information (an e-mail would have been sufficient). But anyway, I walked into this art classroom and I was a bit early, so the teacher just let me sit and wait while she was talking to this other art teacher.

So I wait, and she introduces me to the new art teacher. I KNOW HER! I met her 3 years ago when I went to the recruitment fair for international schools. In fact we rode in the same van to the airport in Boston. At first we didn't know what our connection was. But we both felt that we knew each other. We both were struggling to figure it out. And that's what it was. Turns out she was in Hong Kong! It's such a small world. I remember her being really nice, and we talked while we were at the fair. So this is great. It's amazing how people end up going in and out of your life, and then coming back in again!

Tomorrow I'm off to Rilo Kiley at the 9:30 club. Should be a fun show, too bad it may rain, so the walking to and from the club may be a little wet. I'm just hoping my sister shows up on time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The week has finally lapsed

I'm so glad the week is over. It's been good for the most part. Little hiccups in the road of life. Like my front right tire. Last weekend it was going flat, then it went flat towards the end of this work week. So today I took it into my dealer. They also changed the oil, but told me my tire needed to be replaced...but, they couldn't replace it. So they shipped me off to the NTB place. Well, they changed it. But it's on the wrong part of my car. The new tire is on the back right, not the front right, and mysteriously there is now a nail in the front left tire. Did they replace the wrong one, did they rotate it? What happened? So I have to go back early in the morning tomorrow...yuck. So as soon as they look at my tire, I hope they say it's just been rotated. The bad news is that I'm probably going to buy a second tire. Yes, I guess I'm giving myself tires for my birthday.

However there are bright spots. Saturday I'm going to Arlington to hang out with some friends (new friends), then on Sunday I'm headed out 66 to go to a winery with J. So excited, it's going to be a good time. J and I always have a good time.

This week at school was hectic too. We had some students get shifted around. Some went to another place, parents came to visit, I made kids start to draw a still life (very ambitious of me). I'm a little disheartened by my job this year. I think that comes with any job, it's my second year, I'm used to a bunch of other things, and I don't have to deal with the other principal. But, it opens other chances for me to see what is really going on. The system can only do so much to help these kids. There needs to be some kind of halfway house between the D-home and their "normal"lives. It's sad to see kids learn skills, and be proud of themselves, only to find that they have no where to turn, so they might as well just live life how they used to. I really do love my job, and I'm glad I have it now. If this were 7 years ago I'd be sad, bewildered, and upset about it all. I am upset, but I just want to do the best job I can to make the students I have feel safe. Give them an opportunity to grow and learn. I'm never gonna know what really happens to these kids. I can only offer them my knowledge and my care. Sure, I wish some of them would get over themselves, crawl out from their respective attitudes, and get out of my face (occasionally and rarely), but for the most part I really like them.

So bring on the fall. I'm hoping that this last weekend will end summer. I want next weekend to feel like fall, and I want the leaves to start changing. I want to wear sweaters and jackets.. I want to feel cozy and warm. I feel warm, but not cozy.

Ahh----weekend........enjoy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Concerned thought of the day..

I hate that many of my students feel that the only choice they have in life is to join the Army...... Granted, my kids need discipline, and consistency etc......but is this really necessary? How about letting a student earn a high school diploma first? I mean, really....... Is the army really volunteer? I guess Walmart and the Army are on the same frequency....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Unfortunate realization

You can't carry green chili on the plane anymore.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall is in the air

Oh, it's been so nice today. This morning I had the windows down on the way to work, then this afternoon I was out and about...and now there's no hum of the loud air conditioning unit, and no fans. Just a nice breeze, fresh air, and a happy me.

School is on right now, and I'm trying to get used to the students right now. There too many kids uninterested in expressing themselves, so I'm trying to come up with some many alternatives. But I want them to have some skills. (not computer hacking skills...)

I can actually see myself making it through the year this time. It's about damn time!!!!

If there was one crazy thing I could change right now, it would be to still have cheap summer fruit. But I guess it's almost fall, I have to make way for apples and cider (yum...cider)

Still painting away, but nothing is finished. I have a couple of things in mind, but I had a run in with some really unsavory sales people at Micheal's. I know, shouldn't have gone there in the first place. They made dents in the canvases I brought up to the register, and thought I was crazy for trying to not buy them. I don't want things I paint on to have dents.... CRAZY! So I moved on and went to Pearl. Pearl is an art supply store, but in the past they've been so idiotic it's driven me to drink. However, now they know me, they give me the discount without asking... so I will now only go to them. Unless I happen to be downtown (never happens), I'll go to Utrecht.

Ok, there are so many stories that I've been keeping track of in my head. For example, the student that refused to give me any information about himself, or sign anything. Yeah, he didn't want to do it, so I offered to write it in for him, and then he could sign off on the info.... I go through the questions: name, address, etc... Then: When is your birthday? His answer: September 30th. I asked him to say that again..... he said: September 30th. I said: That's my birthday... So from then on he's been an angel. Signing things, participating in class. It's great. That might be my answer for any kid: That's my birthday too!

No, I wouldn't do that....

Ok, on to preparing for tomorrow...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A mini reunion


As many of you know, I have no high school anymore, but it doesn't really matter because you keep in touch with who you want anyway. Well, here are two of my best friends. All we were missing was Thayna.. -sniff-
I used to be shorter than both of them....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Don't hate me...but...

I like Lily Allen. I know I'm not supposed to. But it's the fun factor. It's the same reason why I like the Streets.

I promise I'll make up for it by downloading someone completely abstract.....or maybe not. We'll see.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I'm ready

Ok, new school year. And I'm ready. And I'm here to kick it off with illuminated manuscripts. I'm asking my students to tell me a story! Hopefully they will. I made a good introductory presentation, I think they'll understand it and get good ideas. I hope it will be completed within a week.... that's the plan.

Did I mention my awesome schedule? I have no first period, and no last period. Now, I think I'll have some extra responsibilities..... but that's awesome. I'm so glad that I have time to set up and clean up. Start my day teaching later, and then it's all compressed, but then I have prep time to clean up and get out of there in a good amount of time.. YES! Just what I've always wanted.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Weather Wonderful!

It's so beautiful! You couldn't ask for anything better. Blue skies. Low humidity. Moderate temperatures. I wish it could stay like this forever. Unfortunately, just because it's finally September doesn't mean that 90's will go away. I think the next few weeks will be pretty warm (but after that I'll ask myself where summer went). But really, it's just so nice.

Saturday I practically lived outside. Mostly under a tree in a park. Watched people, walked around, talked a lot with my friends. Everyone I came across was smiling.

GW parkway was amazing. It was so clear you could see all the monuments, the capitol building. I love it. I really do think it's one of the best drives in America. I know I haven't been on the Pacific coast highway (and I'm sure that's amazing), but I really love driving and seeing all of DC, the trees, the water. It's definitely a welcome sight. It feels like home.

So, school officially begins next week. The Art League donated hundreds and hundreds of oil paints. Of course, I have nothing for the students to paint on yet, but I have to create a list of needs, and I have this parent/volunteer/artist who's going to help me. AMAZING!

I don't know, maybe things are finally putting themselves in order.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Unofficially the last weekend of summer

Well, what do you know? Another summer has come and gone. And really, they just go faster and faster. I really wish it would be fall that would last a little longer. But maybe if it did, I wouldn't appreciate it as much. But the colors of the leaves are what I look forward to most of all. And the fact that I don't need any air conditioner to make those load sounds in my ears as I try to dream.

School officially starts for me on Tuesday. I have been back for weeks now, but not doing too much. Today I think I might of attended what were much like infomercials. Buy this art curriculum, buy that art curriculum..... I even got to make a cheesy knock off of a greek vessel. Is this what tourist shops order?

ARGH-- There's gotta be a way to use my time better. How about completing a painting? Give me salary to work on my own art. Oh well. What can I say.

I can't believe it's almost 2008. I can't believe I"m almost 32. I can't believe I think I'm starting to really like where I work.

There have been a lot of epiphanies lately. Some of you may know the other ones.... so it's been a good summer. For once I think I'm willing to make a home out of the place where I live. For once I'm realizing how lucky I am to be where I'm at. Not that I've never felt that before, it's just that I've not felt this way in a long time.

So here's to fall. Bring it on, I'm ready for what you have in store for me. BRING IT!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is crazy

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/tyne/6714735.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6725653.stm

Didn't read all the comments for this one, but apparently we have higher pain tolerance. Maybe it's linked to the emotional pain we feel growing up with red hair......ohhhhhhhh snap.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/e-cyclopedia/686977.stm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=15277908&query_hl=1

Wait, this one says we need more pain medication.......now I'm confused.

Oh no, even stars ahve it bad

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3378972

At the rate we're going, it could be true

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/south_yorkshire/3233392.stm

Here's another finding

Wikipedia says only 1%. But they also say so much more which may or may not be true. I guess it depends on your point of view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_hair

A dying breed

According to the National geographic redheads make up 2% of the world's population. And apparently by 2100 we'll all be gone.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No more driving for a while

I really do like to drive, but I don't like to drive 13- 14 hours in a span of 36 hours. That's right, do the math. It's not the most driving I've done in a short time span, because after all, I did go across the country a few times. However, driving through NYC during a summer weekend, is less than fun. But, it was all worth it to attend a "Second" wedding of one of my good friends. And it was a little adventurous, i.e. Jersey Turnpike. Nothing beats being passed over and over by car after car, even when you're already going well over a certain speed limit. I also had to drive along side a massive amount of motorcycles..... .too fast... too furious, if you know what I mean.

And what can I say about the freakish drivers of Connecticut. Ummm, just don't drive. Just get off the road.

I feel like I can truly appreciate the drivers in my area now, we're not as bad as all the other places crammed along the east coast. Yes, the beltway is akin to a nascar speed way, but at least people take in mind which lane they are driving in... the slow ones really do tend to stay towards the right. And the there is a definite middle of the road (where I tend to hang out) and the far left lanes. Humm... kind of says something politically doesn't it... although, I would say I definitely lean a little more to the left.

Anywho- it was a nice drive. Connecticut is beautiful. It's very green and quaint. I have only driven past Stamford and New Haven on my way up to Mass, but this time I got to actually be in the state and see some towns, and they're nice. The air was crisp too. I realize that it's been cooler than it has been all over the east these past few days, but it was a perfect day yesterday. Just amazing.

So it was all worth it. The wedding was nice. However, I'm glad I won't be driving that far for a while now.

So here are some pics:

Tamar and me. She and her husband.. and new baby Flora will be moving up to Connecticut in a couple of weeks. Lucky! Although I'm going to miss them.

Ruth (a bride 2-times.... to the same man, don't be like that). She looked beautiful and wore her mom's gown.



The ladies. A picture with Ruth's friends and Cousins.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's gone to their heads!

I think we really really need a cloudy day soon, because all this sun is making people forget how to drive! The Vitamin D-- it's just killing all the brain cells. It's going to kill me, and that's no joke. People switching lanes for no reason, a motorcycle popping a wheelie past an 18 wheeler going god knows how fast. A jeep slamming on their breaks in the next lane because they're not paying attention.. AND-- watch out for those crazy bike people! And don't even get me started on the people who forget to even slow down for stop signs....

Argh... I hope I make it through my long drive this coming weekend. It will be a miracle!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is it counterproductive to the recycling efforts of Whole Foods to give out placemats that are made of the reuseable bag material. I'd rather use the bag. I guess that's big business for you. I guess I'll stick to MOM's- My Organic Market. At least it's local. And-- they use windpower! But then again, WF is more gourmet than earth friendly.. but not as gourmet as Balducci's (which I will be quiting real soon).

Monday, August 06, 2007

It starts all over again.

That's right, it's back to school again. Back to the grind. And throughout the whole summer (all 4 weeks of it) I have built up in my mind to what might be one of the worst days of my life. I tossed and turned all through last week, woke up in the middle of the night worried with fear, anxious racing thoughts throughout the day. It was horrible.

This morning I woke up, felt my heart and it was beating fast. Got ready to go, jumped in my car, played some calm music, and drove up to the center. My heart was racing, faster and faster until I got in and realized it wasn't as bad as I had thought.

I walked down the hall and everything was the same (except for the "new" dingy blue carpet). The walls were repainted and bare. No one was there except me and my thoughts. And I didn't feel that pains and anxiety I was feeling before. I was glad I showed up first and had some time to get my bearings. People smiled at me and welcomed me back. A few were surprised that I had. And admittedly, I was too. I tried all summer to try and find a new position, and the only ones who wanted me were China and Bahrain. No thanks.

To my surprise I was granted a classroom! My very own classroom. Turns out that it meant I also had to move all my stuff, and every one's stuff as well. I can do things my way. I will have more control over what happens in this room. I will have control over the supplies, and I'll finally (maybe) get organized!

There weren't too many other surprises, but I sense a fresh start. It doesn't mean that I'm not looking to leave, but it sure makes it easier to want to at least feel good about a new school year starting.

So that's my optimistic view for today. It doesn't come around often!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Beach!

Ironically I was at the beach during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

Yes, I survived. And I learned that sharks are just curious and confused. They're misunderstood, and don't really mean to take a huge chunk out of a surfer's calf.

Well, we are in their territory, aren't we? Still, I love the water, I love the sand, I love the beach. And while the strangest thing I've come up against is a sting ray, I hope to never ever meet a shark.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sorry, that's bad for you too

Yep, finally a study that shows that soda of any kind is bad for you. Well, what did you expect? I had a principal once who wouldn't even drink water. She would get a huge soda and drink it through the day. Yeah, very healthy. I think the study has only come out because they're trying to remind everyone that soda should be considered like a treat. Not a beverage to substitute for water or milk, or good juices. Personally, I don't usually drink soda. I have been taught that it is a treat. And rarely do I have the real thing.... except who could resist an nice iced-cold coke from a bottle............? Yum!

Now only if I could break the coffee habit. Although, it has so many benefits, I'm will to risk it.

If only work was so bad for you that you could go to it either. I have a week and 1/2 left. So not looking forward to it! I'm just going to have make specific plans to break up the year. I already have some intentions for August, September, and October. Then there's Thanksgiving, And then Christmas! So Fall is the easy part. The winter/spring semester is always harder, and that's where the sick days will come in. That will be a long 6 months. But hopefully by February or March I'll know where I'll be going for the next school year.

Anyway, I must enjoy my last few days of summer, next week I'm at the beach, so that's going to be excellent. I'm glad I got it in... but just under the wire.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

These things I know

No 1. I make a pretty darn good stir fry, full of delicious items.
No. 2. The Police didn't play "Canary in a Coalmine". Which is a great one, that they could have jammed on, and contains all sorts of environmental lyrics. I would have also liked "Murder by numbers"... .and of course "Tea in the Sahara". Actually I was expecting that one.
No. 3. They could have also handled "Ms. Gradenko". Maybe that's too 80's. (But the 80's are back!)
No. 4. 2 more weeks of freedom, and it's depressing.

Oh- they should have done "Man in a suitcase"!

Why must I be!!!!!! (it's really a fitting song for me)

No...it's dodododo dadadada. Not dodododo dodododo

Yes, it was that time. Time for "The Police". It was a good concert, but as a whole it ranks kinda low. It wasn't that they were horrible. NOT AT ALL! They were very good. It's great that they have been touring. They played a long set and an encore, but a lot of their songs were at half speed. Some of the songs became way too "Sting-a-fied".

We were late. We missed the horrible first band (my sister heard them). It was Sting's son's band. Which brings me to my next point. Is that why they're on tour? To promote Sumner-the-younger's band? Hummm... Me thinketh it is so.

Be that as it may. I saw them. They played a lot of popular songs, and some of them less well known, but I knew them all. Some of their screen displays were a bit cheesy (like the one for "walking in your footsteps" which showed skeletal dinosaurs walking on their faces on the screens... in sepia.....CHEESE!) They did have some screen art that featured their old album covers with the primary colors and the digital portrait of the band. They were expected.

I have to say that "Driven to Tears" was really good, and I was looking forward to ," So lonely". Of course there was "Roxanne". Then like always, in Sting concerts he usually closes with "Every Breath You Take", and so did the Police. It was good too. Then they came back with an encore, and right now I forget what they did. All in all, I'm glad I went. It's more like a rite of passage. I needed to go. The stage looked tiny, and the band looked like the size of my thumb, but I'm glad I went. Musically they were great, but I can't help but wonder if they weren't really that excited to be in Hershey. I mean, I felt like even the crowd was extremely low key, and low energy... I mean the band is in their 50's, and the crowd was in that range too.

Anywho, I can check that off my list. Now who's next??

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sorry, you'll have to wait

Ok- all -of- you- people -who -wouldn't -watch- the- third -season -of- Lost -because- you- wanted- to -watch -in- a -couple -of -nights- during -the -summer... You'll have to wait. I just pre-ordered it. It's out on December 11!! HAHAHAHAHA! Of course you could probably still watch it on-line if you're feeling desperate. What a show, though.

You know, a delay in the release of the dvd's means a delay in the beginning of season 4. As you may have heard in this very blog, they're not coming out with season 4 until late january or February!!!

Ahh-- anyway.. the world goes around.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Good Catch

Let me preface this by saying that I really do like playing catch. However, I don't like trying to catch wine. Which was what I had to do a lot of today, for some reason. Bottles flying off the shelves, and falling out of boxes, and almost landing on the ground. But my handy dandy elbows, fingers, and knees worked really well to catch every single one of them. I guess the only wine coming out of my paycheck this week will only be the ones I buy!

Unfortunately it was a long long day at work. I'm happy to be home, but I'll be doing it all again tomorrow.

Interesting week, it was my first one off since real work ended, and I'm already feeling better about being away from the school. I'm trying not to think about it, since I have such a short time off.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I need a sous chef

I love to cook, however, I think I washed all the items in my kitchen at least 5 times. So maybe I don't need a sous chef, just a huge kitchen that comes with dishwashers. And lots of chopping machines. Everything I made today required the use of my handy little food processor. I loved it! I just wish I had 5!

I wanted to make a good meal for tomorrow. I think the food will be great. And I also made my own mix for margaritas... YUM! I guess I'm from the type of school that thinks," If you're going to cook... then you better cook!" And I do, I just haven't cooked for friends in a while. So I hope everything comes out well. I've prepared a lot tonight. If no one comes, well, then I guess the next day I'm driving up to my parents house and they can eat it.

So, it's been a while since I've written, and I've been busy. I guess I'm still digesting the stuff I did last week. I helped a friend plan an experiential ed program for her school. I'm jealous that she gets to use it. It will be her own program. I'm really proud of her for that. I just wish I could be in a school situation that I could actually use the things that we worked on. I guess some of it will transfer over to my interesting population. We'll see. It opened my eyes to actually how different and still sheltered her area of the world is from big city problems. She's dealing with problems in her school that happen before they get too big. Which is excellent. She's creating a school climate the fosters individuality but examines decision-making. If only all schools would allow their teachers that kind of freedom to create something bold and exciting.

That's not going to happen at my school. Even though, my students are the ones that need it the most. Granted, some of them are so far gone by 16, nothing will bring them around. They have no support, and there's not many places the kids can go to get the chance to change. It's sad, really.

At least now I can probably focus more on the task at hand next year, which is provide a quality and thoughtful art program that helps students to examine their own individuality and expressiveness through the arts. I mean that's my goal anywhere, but I really have to try to make it happen there next year. And I know for sure that I won't have "Sybil" breathing down my neck preventing me from doing good work.....and I won't be living with a crazy woman with her adopted child, and I won't be commuting 4 hours a day or sleeping on some one's floor.

Yes, it will be different. It already is. It's July 3rd. I have exactly a month to keep the good vibes going!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hooray!

I don't have to set foot inside the D-home again until the new school year. For me, summer has begun. I feel a weight has been lifted.

Although the summer vacation really hasn't begun yet. I still have to do some teacher stuff (like revamping my art curriculum and sneaking in lessons about human needs and human rights), and of course there's always the wine job, which I can't seem to quit.

Oh well, looking forward to the first day (Monday) that I'll be able to realize that I don't have to walk into that place. (heavy sigh of relief)

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm sorry


RIP Plant. I'm so sorry. I did everything I could except give you what you really needed. Light. But I have to keep my shades closed because it will be unbearably hot. If only it was fall and my windows were wide open, allowing you to get what you need. I'm so sorry.
Actually this plant must have some kind of root rot. Because I really did try everything, and it still died. All the other plants I have are making it just fine. I just feel bad. IT was a living thing, and now.....dead. It probably really needed more light.
Ok- peace out

If it's good enough for Mary Matalin...

So about a month ago I was jogging along the Potomac. And I passed this older gentleman, we exchanged smiles and nods (as most cordial runners do...although this man seemed more stern than most). As I passed him, I thought he looked really familiar. He looks like the guy who talks to Tim Russert. You know, James Carville. And then I thought, no couldn't be him, I bet they live in the city. So I I talked myself out of it.

Well, cut to Saturday, and guess who I served wine to at my tasting table? Mary Matalin, James Carville's Republican wife! HA! Who knew they were kind of like my neighbors. Well, at least in the hood. But I thought that was cool since I do see them on TV all the time, just like all the other talking heads on Meet the Press.

So if Balducci's is good enough for them, it's good enough for me! It might be the strange reason why I just can't quit. Today I had planned to go in there and give my two weeks notice, and I couldn't do it. I feel like I need to keep going and just work there until I eventually move. You know me and loyalty. It's so hard for me to quit things, even though they may not be the best for me at all.

Tomorrow I don't have to report to school work, so I guess I get a mini-break from the place. Which is good. I was thinking I may even drive to the beach. I don't know. It's only 3 hours from here. It might be worth it to just be some where for the day and read a book, eat some snacks, listen to some music. Yeah, we'll see. I won't set my alarm and I'll see how long it takes me to get get ready. I figure I'd be going against traffic, so it couldn't be that bad.

Humm-- now I'm really thinking... Is it worth the gas?? It might be.

So, right now, I'm enjoying a nice glass of Frascati wine with some frozen berries in my glass. It's a nice treat after a really hot day.

Hummmm....beach. Something I'm going to try and dream about as I fall asleep tonight.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Proof I might be crazy

So, I've been painting, but can't seem to find a true focus, and I feel like I'm kind of going backwards. I think that it's good that I'm at least doing something. However, I want to feel like I have a sense of direction. That might be a little telling too, since I feel like life doesn't have any particular direction either.

Oh well, here they are... a little bit of everything. Don't judge too harshly. And the first one isn't quite finished. That one is definitely proof that I'm a little crazy. Second one, I'm not sure is done. I may do more. Anywho..

































Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Last Day lacks luster!

At least it's over. I think that's all I can say about this school year. I will be done dealing with all of it in a few weeks. I'm sad to say that the kids didn't really care about the end of the year. And I know why. I mean would you care if you were in there? No.

I feel like even if the kids are in there, they need some kind of closing, and it really wasn't given to them. I tried by giving out awards to them individually (which seemed rather meaningless), and making chocolate chip cookies (never meaningless). But it was all for not. They're missing all these kinds of things from not being in school and the "outside". And meaningless or not, they need to understand certain things do matter, and are important. They completed something. For some kids it was a few months of school after not being in school for the same amount of time or more. For some kids it was completing a drawing. They need something to hold on to, so they at least know they can finish something.

This year was a huge test for me. I have second guessed everything I've ever done as a teacher and have wanted to really throw in the towel. But I learned it wasn't the kids that made me feel that way. It was the adults. I came in contact with all these ferocious adults who didn't care but craved their own kind of attention and power. For them it wasn't about helping the kids, it was about showing them who had the power to punish. Which really really tears at me. That's not at all what they need. They need compassionate people who are consistent and helping them see the choices that they could be making.

I like to think that I am that way, but I have to figure out a way to not give those looney adults the chance to show that kind of negative attention to the kids. One of those things could possibly be having my own classroom. A kid said to me today," This isn't your classroom." And I said," It is when I am in here." But that's how everyone seems to act. Since it is a unit, and where they hang out , that's how it's treated. However, I have to say, maybe I let it happen that way. But it's a year of adjustment. Now I know how the horrible adults are, and how the kids are. So next year should be better. (only one more though-- I'm planning an escape..as I keep saying)

So even though the day lacked luster, I'm just going to toast myself to a year well managed. I made it through the darkest hour......... And I thought Egypt was bad (and it was). Apparently I must have gained strength from living there.

So here's to another school year. It really can only improve. I'm going to go crack open a bottle of wine, appear to be working for the next 2 and 1/2 weeks, and be glad that I can at least have a month without the interference of strange people in my life.

Scary.. just heard thunder crack. I just hope that means it brings good rain. We need some relief. I'll take good fortune too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Manic Monday!

Crazy. So much went on today I can't even remember it all at this point. And I'm still up busy doing things. What's up with that?

Well I had work, like usual. And then I headed to the wine place. Work was just the same, except one class completely horrible. Not the fault of the kids, they can't help who the adults are in the room. I swear, why is it that these men like to force the power through the sound of their voice? They have to get louder and louder just to show what? That they can be loud? That's what I think, that's what the kids think. And it's awfully hard for me to reinforce the behavior I want to see in the students when the adults in the room aren't following it themselves. I HATE THAT! It's the worst part of the job, and it will never change.

The English teacher too, I just would not like to be around her at all. Everything is so negative. She seeks me out though... and I just try to grin and bare it all. Not too long from now, she'll be gone. If only I could be gone.

Speaking of which, I know it sounds crazy, but maybe overseas will be an option in a year. I don't know yet. Anyway.......moving on.

Wine job was long, but at least I made up stuff for myself to do. Like seeing which things needed prices, and which ones had none. WHOA! Hard job. I should be grateful I don't have to do much. I pretty much have to be there and I make money.

Had a good wine this weekend.... It's Italian. I forget the name, but the type of wine is Frascati (I think it's the name of the region). It's very nice. And cheap... $10! A steal! White wine, fruity.. nice for a hot day. I'm sure it comes in all prices, but mine was only 10.

The weeks just keep going by, and I feel like summer is going to just fly. I'm expected back on August 2nd. How awful. Everyone I talk to says that sounds good to them, but they don't do the job I do. And most teachers get more time off. But my contract says differently. Then the next question they ask me is," Are you going to work during your break?" Ummmmmmmm. Nope. I'm even thinking of dropping the wine job because I think I'm going to end up actually owing taxes by years end. Not the plan I was hoping for. So basically for teachers to work throughout the year is pointless because we'll just end up paying for it. We'll see.

Ok- better try and relax so I can go to sleep.....way too much going on in my mind.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Get out and Play

If you're in my neck of the woods you should be outside today. I just got in, and it was a blast. Went to a BBQ and had fun. It was like a great time. Met new people, saw good friends, played..

AEROBIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. It was the wave of the future about (gulp) 20 years ago when I got my first Aerobie. The first one ended up in the duck pond in Bonn, Germany, and was not able to be fished out, unfortunately. HOWEVER- the thrower did buy me a new one to replace the old one. And I've had it ever since.

I don't know how you pronounce it, but it doesn't matter, because all you gotta do is play it.

Seriously, you couldn't have asked for a better day to do something outside. Yeah, it was warm, but nice breezes, and good shade under some trees. It was wonderful to actually just have the day off. Almost every week since March I've worked on Saturdays, but not this one. Tomorrow, however, I'll be inside.... but it's supposed to rain, so who cares.

I got my contract for the D-home. I will reluctantly sign it, unless by some chance something better just shows up on my front door..........................nope. Didn't happen. Oh well, this will be last year teaching for the public schools in Alexandria. At least, I think so. I hope so. Unless something really good happens. But I don't fancy working in an institution. It's hard. I don't get to go outside, I can't take my students outside. It's very difficult to work in that environment.

Anyway, last 2 days I'm not teaching. We're going to watch a movie. And they get to choose. They will have a choice between.......drum roll please.....

1. Corpse Bride
2. Labyrinth

They probably have no clue what the second one is, and will will probably choose Corpse Bride. However, I win either way, because I like both. In fact I was so excited to find Labyrinth. I didn't think it existed out there in storeland. I thought it was something that had to be special ordered, or e-bayed... NO!! NO sir! I bought that sucker from Best Buy (which happens to be one of my least favorite stores, by the way).

Anyway, get out there! Enjoy the weather....It won't be long until will code orange and red days!! And I"m not talking about the terrorist threat level.....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rude!

1. I hate it when people say, "I told you so", and they didn't do a damn thing to help you out. Don't claim something you didn't do for me. No, you didn't tell me to go there, or look there, or do that... NO you didn't. Not at all.

2. I hate when people bump into you and say,"Excuse you". NO, you man.. you.. And here I already am excusing myself... you don't need to do it for me.

3. Stupid drivers that just go through stop signs. NOT on accident.. I'm fully aware that it happens. But on purpose. What's the deal with that?

ARGH.........................

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ahh, almost there..

Well, the final weeks of school are coming upon me. This week is the last week of official teaching. So students are finishing up drawing faces. I'm cleaning up. IT has begun. I would like to do nothing more than forget this school year ever happened. Well, not totally, but on some level...for sure.

Unfortunately I have to show up for a few more weeks, doing random stuff. It won't be fun. It will be boring, but I hope to get a classroom out of the whole deal by the end of the year. That's right! Today I asked, " Can I get a classroom next year?". I didn't get an answer, really, but I hope to get a real answer by the time I am officially done in a few weeks.

I'm still looking for a new job, but I think I'll be there one more year. I may have an opportunity to teach art history at a local community college, but I'm not sure yet. They seemed interested, and I sent out my resume... and then nothing! We'll see. Then there's the possibility of landing a new job. I put a few random applications out there, one even in NC and one in PA. What am I thinking? I do not know.... I like where I live, I just want my job to be better.

Anyway, can't complain about life, I went to a concert on Sunday, and had a blast. I forgot how much fun it is to get out and do something a little different. It was Bloc Party, and they actually were really good. I happened to have a pretty good seat, as it turned out. I was right on the center aisle... about 15 rows from the stage!

First band that came on were "The Annuals" . They were really good. At one point they had 4 people drumming... Can you say percussion? 2 full drum sets for almost the entire show, and then in one song 2 others turned to the side to beat on their own couple of drums! It was great. I couldn't really understand the lead singers words, but it was lively and fun. Kinda sorta had an "Arcade Fire" tip.

Next was a trio-- Noisettes. British band. Good as well, the lead singer had a booming voice, tons of energy.. Don't know how to compare them except to say only slightly kinda sorta like the "yeah yeah yeahs".

LASTLY-- BLOC PARTY! They were so good. The drummer was fun to watch. Not only was he great, he was having so much fun. He would drum with one hand, hold up the other hand with a drumstick. Look at the crowd like he was going to slam the drum, and he would tap a cymbal ever so slightly. It WAS funny, and I think very humorous to him too (I saw him giggle a little). I'm not sure how many people paid attention to him doing that. I noticed.

The other high point was when the lead singer jumped off the stage and.....danced with everyone down the aisle! YES! That's right yours truly got to dance with him as well!! The bouncers didn't know what to do, I don't think they knew he was going to do that. How fun. I don't think I had ever danced so much at a concert actually.

If you ever have an opportunity to see someone you like at Constitution Hall in the DAR museum----- GO! There's not really a bad seat in the whole house.... So try to get the tickets.

So tomorrow....Wednesday. A student and I are going to make vegetarian chile. I don't know why I felt like doing this (I'm not even sure if I'm allowed). But there is this student who is really really interested in culinary school, she and I talk about it all the time. So it's time to actually do something. She's also working on a painting... A huge painting!!! So hopefully she'll finish that at some point too.

Ok, better go figure out dinner... not vegetarian chile.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I count.

That's what I did for most of my time tonight at my wino job. I had to count ALL the bottles of wine. At least all that counting made the time go faster. But I think it was something someone invented so they wouldn't feel like they had to send me home early-- yet again.

Ahh, anyway, tomorrow it's back to school. I don't really know what I'm going to teach tomorrow. It's one of those times when 1/2 the kids are done a project, and 1/2 of the other ones have nothing to work on.... Maybe, how to draw faces.... I'll demonstrate something, they'll watch, they'll work, and then class will be over. I'm so ready to be done, but I have 4 more weeks left...

I'm doing everything I can to not use my air conditioner, but it's impossible now. I bought a couple of fans. It doesn't do much, everyone keeps giving me suggestions..... I don't need any suggestions, I need for the sun not to set on my side of the building. I shouldn't complain. At least I have air conditioning. I'm just wanting to save some money and some energy. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

So I heard about my former school--- the one in Egypt. yeah. so I've been trying to decide what to write about, but no words can say how horrible I felt when I heard what the senior class did as a prank. What did they do? They did a number of things that included pouring oil all over the hallway, causing distruction to many areas of the school, lighting firecrakers, hiring a marching band, hurting security guards, and my favorite playing soccer with live rabbits and chickens. Yes, read it again. Surprised? I was until I realized where the kids are from, and how they don't have any respect for any living thing other than themselves (and even that's questionable). SO they'll get rewarded, they'll have graduation, they'll go on to run their own country. Sad, but true.

That's all the time I'm giving that. I thought I would write this huge blog about it all, but the truth is I just can't. I would only be recalling what I've talked about in past posts. All I know is that I feel for my friends who are still there having to endure the final weeks of their teaching positions. Don't worry, you're almost done!

Ok- well, it looks like I may try to sleep soon. I don't know if I will or not, but I'll give it a good shot.

Don't worry...

That's what they said on the weather report about 24 hours ago. So I planned my day to drive up to my parents' house to enjoy the nice weather. "The weather won't alter any one's plans", they said.

WRONG! Well beyond wrong. I was driving home from G-burg in a horrendous storm. Thought I was going to die. I think I had heart palpitations. Lots of water everywhere. I couldn't believe that they said it would be "mostly dry". Liars.

Oh well. I'm alive, I got home, and it's not raining today...yet.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

If you haven't seen it.. or read it..

"Everything is Illuminated"

Another post coming soon...
I'm just thinking about it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

LOST LOST LOST!

Well, it's that time of year folks! Season Finale time! It's going to be great. I will say no more.

So, today I got to use my camp counselor skills at work today. The detention specialists put together a few games, and left the rest of it up to us teachers. It was fine, but they wanted to "pick" teams. Like call out names and actually choose who we wanted. I said no to that. And people just stood around. So I said," Why don't we just count them off?" And they just stood there looking at me with a strange look. So I said," I'll just number them off 1-4..so there's 4 teams..." (duh)... So I did. Worked out fine, no one had to fear being the last one chosen, and the teachers didn't have to choose students. The people I work with are not the smartest of the bunch.

We did play dodge ball for a long time. The balls didn't hurt, thank god, because those boys can throw really hard. You can only imagine what would have happened with actual playground balls. PAIN! I actually hit a kid, and he moved to duck and it actually hit his face. It was all good. He got me back-- and it was all painless.

Then we watched two teams play team basketball. That's where everyone has to score a basket. That was kind of painful to watch because some kids kept trying, but just couldn't get the ball in the basket. Finally it was over.

Then my team and another one got to play volleyball. I was excited, although I biffed a serve. But that's ok. We had fun, except yet again the detention specialists made unfair rules. So I had to intervene.

Then lunch.. And then the torturous 1 and 1/2 hours of playing bingo. NO one should have to play bingo for that long, especially with a room full of sweaty 16-year-olds. It was ok for a while, but probably should have ended about 45 mins after it started.

Despite the little issues, everything was pretty kosher. Kids like to play. It's amazing how they change when they're doing something they like, or focused on. For a few hours they didn't have to worry about their charges, family members, bad habits, gang affiliations, or being abused. They were just kids. Everyone should be so lucky.

It's days like this that feel normal to me. Camaraderie among staff and students, it builds morale. Yes, these kids need a little morale boosting, why do you think they're in there??? It's days like this that I don't mind being there and teaching there.

Ahh.. so Lost tonight, a little lost in career decisions, but not lost on feeling happy about today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What?

I think I have school until July 2nd....... only to return August 1st!

I definitely need a new job. And no, I don't feel quilty at all about having more vacation time than the average American because I don't have an average job.

Oh well. I guess I'll just hope for the month of July to be time well spent.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Smelling Wine

Yeah, I know, strange, but it actually does give you the full effect of the wine. For instance, I bought this wine... and I smelled it, and tasted it, and it wasn't all bad. However, if I had just smelled it, I probably would have stopped there. It smelled like grass, and well, to put it nicely-- like farm. It was mostly grassy, but I really wasn't sure what it would taste like. So I tasted it... It tasted like exotic fruit, a little citrus. It was ok. Not my favorite, hopefully I'll be able to get someone to help me drink it.

I helped a few people today, had a few conversations. I think I sold a bottle of wine to a couple that was on their way to being completely blasted. At least the woman was. I hope they weren't driving.... A lot of people do walk around here.

I talked to this older man about Germany and the State Department, and how we have the worst President ever.

I even got to come home early! NICE! I won't argue with my manager if he comes and tells me I can go home if I want to..... So I did.

School was strange. The music teacher... so very naive. So very ignorant of what has gone on all year. But whatever, it was interesting to see him finally upset about something. It's about time.

On a whim I applied to a Quaker school today.

Hummmmmmm, can't wait for tomorrow, the weather is so nice right now, and I'm going to try to spend it outside after school....

My shelves are getting filled, and it's so nice to see almost all my books in one place.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I rule!

I put together 5 bookcases today! And it looks so great. I'm so glad I finally got this done. Now I think my place is looking finished. Well, almost. I still need to get some more pictures up. I can't imagine how long it will take if I ever have a house. But, at least I'll have it the way I want. Hopefully, I won't have to move any time soon, but you know how that goes.

Today I had work. I bought a couple of new wines. (new to me) A Cabernet Sauvingnon from Washington state!!! Really nice. Very "fruit forward" as they say...

I also bought a semillion from Australia (makers of a shiraz I really like). We'll see, I haven't opened it yet. What I need to do is have a wine tasting party and try all of these with some people, so I don't have to drink the whole bottle. I still have a few open bottles to take care of... Maybe that's something I'll have to plan for the summer time.

So-- what else. Iconoclasts-- that series on Sundance Channel! I love it. It's great.
Umm---- painting. Still going. The plan is to have a body of work by the end of the summer. I stretched a couple of canvases this week, and now hopefully I'll get to use them soon. I bought some canvas in Egypt and it's pretty coarse. I think it will be ok. Although I do like to use really small brushes.

I'm applying to a show in this area. I have to turn in something decent by the end of July. Then they jury it (I think) and then the show takes place in early September. We'll see, I'd love to be able to show again, but I guess it's all up to me. Somebody asked me if I had a website the other day. I don't, however, maybe I should really think of getting one together.

So good things are happening. I wish school would end a little earlier, and I wish I could change schools, but I'm going to keep plugging a long. I'll probably be at the d-home another year. Then after that, somewhere else. I don't fancy working for a corrupt system such as this. So I am going to use every tactic I can to get out of it for the following year.

Ok- Monday is soon, gotta try to get things in order for tomorrow...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Oye!

You know, Oye is used in a variety of ways, to get attention, to show disbelief... to show woe, or even say no.

To me I would have to say that it would mean "tired out". As in "oye vey". The yiddish saying kind of used like "oh my" or something like that. It's been a long week. I was basically the dumping ground for kids who were done with testing this week. It was ok for some of the days, but other days I wasn't pleased. But it's over on Monday. I didn't get much done at all.

I'm really looking forward to summer. That won't come until the last week of June (I think) but at least I have something to look forward to.

Today I made it down to Ikea. And let me tell you, it still overwhelms me. There is just so much to look at. I made it out of there ok, but a few dollars lighter. I finally bought some bookcases that will work for my apartment. Now, if only I could put them together. Turns out I need a screwdriver or two. I have none. So I'm a little unhappy that I can't put them together tonight, and have to wait until tomorrow. I could go out and buy a couple of tools (I do have a hammer..and I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land), but since I'm going up to my parents house tomorrow, I figure I could just borrow. I guess I'll just continue to drink wine tonight instead.

It's been a crazy week at work besides the testing. But I'm trying to just do what I can. Can't really write about it. Things are fine with me, just feeling disappointed right now.

It is the weekend, though, I still work Sunday and I have work double time on Monday, but I'm hoping that it means that I get a couple days off next weekend. However, we'll see.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

YUM!

I made massaman curry tonight! And it's awesome! Spicy goodness.

And-- my new rice cooker actually cooked my rice. I've heard horror stories about these contraptions. But it worked! And I enjoyed.

The wine isn't bad either... I guess I won't be going for that jog after all... hummm....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday Blues

Yeah, not having a weekend really kind of makes the first day of the work week that much harder to deal with..... HOWEVER, it wasn't all bad. I have been teaching the kids to use chalk pastels and draw flowers... AND they're all doing it! It's awesome.

Today I didn't have time for my jog, or to be outside, which was the downside of the day. I had work this afternoon, I did learn some things. Work was extremely boring, and it was hard to find things to do again, but I did help more people than normal. It must have been a wine drinking Monday for a lot of people. I sold a lot of Proseco. It's funny. I like it, but I usually never think of buying it. It's a light sparkling Italian wine, kind of sweet and bubbly. It's perfect for a brunch. Anywho... this is what I learned:

Pouilly Fuisse- a French word for a wine that comes from the Burgundy region in France. It's chardonnay...

Pouilly Fume- a French word for a wine that comes from that same region, it's Sauvingon Blanc-- one of my favorite whites.

I haven't had either one of those types yet, but I hope to soon.. Perfect for summer.

Ok- tired.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Working whirlwind

Not much of a weekend this week. I worked all through it. It wasn't all bad. But I'm tired. I can't wait to go to sleep tonight. Yesterday we had a huge wine tasting event. Had you been here, you would have been able to taste about 50 different wines! I didn't, unfortunately. I ended up tasting about 18. We were short staffed, so I had to be the one to go between all the tables, serve wine poorly(.. get it, it's a pun... oh...sorry, it was a bad pun.) and talk to customers. It was the fastest 5 hours I ever had. Well, in this job, anyway. It was fun. I like when lots of people are there, and you can talk to people, get to know them, remember their faces. I met another crazy French woman who's an artist. She told me all about it, and how much wine she needed for her reception.. All that! She was a hoot. So funny. She counted everything in French, and I was trying to speak French (poorly). Then there was this retired couple. I love them. I see them every weekend. The husband is a pilot, and I think she was a teacher.. not sure. But we had a huge conversation about education and all that. I told her I was also an artist, and we talked about that. They're both retired and live a life of leisure and travel. I told her I wanted to be like her when I grew up. It was flattery, but I meant it. Who wouldn't want to retire and be with their husband and travel??? That's my dream!

Anyway, after that I headed out to College Park, MD. My best friend's brother lives out there, I got lost (I'm not sure how.. I just did). He's turning 21! I can't believe it. It was fun. We just had a dinner with him (which he cooked...and very well), and a few other people. Although, after a few more glasses of wine we had some really philosophical conversations. We talked about justice, death, life, religion, art! I couldn't believe how we just kept going. But it was good. There was a lot to think about, and some of it I'm still thinking about it. I hadn't talked about all that in a really long time. Ahhhh. I almost feel a relieved.

So I ended up getting home at about 1 am. Went to bed, and woke up this morning and headed to work again. It was boring today, however. I did a lot of busy work, making the shelves look nice. Helped some people a bit, but mostly I was trying to keep busy, however it was the slowest 5 and 1/2 hours ever at the store. Tomorrow will probably be similar. Unfortunately.

I did find somethings to tell you about in the wine world.

1. Gatao - A Portuguese wine, pretty cheap. Easy to drink, kind of spritzy! Nice summer libation.
2. Maipe - A Malbec-- from Argentina-- nice wine, red. Mellow and inky red... I bought a bottle to try this week.
3. Tried a really cool Shiraz. It was a sparkling Shiraz. You open it like a champagne, but that's not what it is at all. It really is a Shiraz that has bubbles, so when you pour it out it's like pouring out a bubbly wine. And it hits your mouth and it bubbles, but gives way to this smooth texture. It's strange, and I kind of like it. I didn't buy the one we had out yesterday because one of the ladies I work with says a different one is better. Who knew? We definitely sold a lot of that yesterday just based on curiosity! GOES WELL WITH CHOCOLATE! Yum!

So tomorrow's another day, back to school, counting down the days. Technically the quarter ends on May 29th, however we have an extended year. Not sure how it's all going to go yet. I'm just hoping for the best. I also haven't heard about the transfer..... don't know where I'll be teaching next year.

Peace out!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Feist Friday

I love the new album... can I still call it that, even though it's a CD? It's so good. If you don't know who I'm talking about, you better recognize... Cause she's awesome! Those of you who are stateside will recognize her "Gatekeeper" song on some commercial (I forget which one.,..the song is from her first album... very very good). Having said that she's not even American.. She's Canadian, aye. She also moonlights with Broken Social Scene. Another popular Canadian band..... I like way too many Canadian Bands... Hummm... maybe I should move to great white north?

Anywho-- great music!

It's Friday! Time to open a bottle of wine. Today I'm going to test a Chardonnay. It's almost summer after all, and quite easy to drink right out of the fridge.... "Acacia".. from California. (say it like Arnold is more fun.. Cal-i-fawn-ya).