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).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wish I had a river... oh wait I do!

But not to skate away on. Just to JUMP in! I know that the Potomac is probably way cleaner than the Nile, but I'm stull not ready put the pinky toe into the drink. I know people sail in it, and row in it, kayak in it. But I don't want to be immersed in it. So I'll just keep looking for a place to do that.

The weather has been great! It's sunny, not hot yet, sun shining. This is what I miss about VA. In fact the other day, I passed by an area with my best friend, and I said to her," This smells like Virginia to me." I'm not sure what it is. The plants growing, grass being cut. I think it actually might be the azaleas. It seems like everyone who owns a house in Virginia has azaleas. And they're great for about a week, and then the pretty flowers start dying off and turn brown, fall off, and you got nothing. But I digress. It smells like Virginia.

Things are moving along. It's May and I have neglected to put in an wine hint in the last time I worked. Humm.. What could be my hint this time around? I can't think of one at the moment. Kinda tired.

I would love to find an alternative to driving. The gas prices are insane in this area. I don't use that much gas, actually. But it's just too dangerous to ride my bike, and still too expensive to do the metro (and I still wouldn't be able to get there). So oil.. A huge problem in this country. But we're still so dependent. I don't even want to drive up and back from my parents' house because it's going to cost so much. And with summer on the way.... it's just going to get worse. So much for road trips!

In other news, still don't know what's up for school next year. I'm not even sure when our school year ends this year. I'm hoping for a transfer. So, keep your fingers crossed. Even so, it's out of my hands, and if I need to work in my current place for one more year then so be it. But, I'll be seriously looking for a way out... and it may be the chance to go international again, maybe this time for good. (that sounded more dramatic then I intended)

Alright, time to relax, read something and watch the tube.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Some days are better than others

So it's Friday, and that's good. It's been one of those weeks. You know, I take time off and then it's like the longest week ever. The kids were wired this week. We had one large class, and I don't know why they decided to do that, but they did. It was a strange one. I made brownies (home made of course) and one kid asked me," Hey Ms., are those special brownies?" HA! I said," Of course, I made them." I didn't walk into that one.... almost... but I decided to throw them a curve.

The weather was nice today. My best friend was here and we walked to Old Town, and hung out down there. Being by the water is so nice. It was so clear you could see the Capitol clearly.

I plan on sleeping in. Then maybe a little laundry and finishing a painting. I want to get a gigantic canvas if this one turns out ok. I guess this one's about 2 feet by 3 feet, which is huge for me right now.

Ok- night night.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Yay! It's May!

I made it back alive from Kansas City. And if you've been following the news you would know about the fatal shootings of some crazy guy who decided to shoot at people at mall. Guess what? It's close to where I was visiting, and on the way home from a day trip we saw the center, the police tape, the people getting questioned. It was a strange sight, It happened close to her home and she frequents that mall a couple times a week to get things for her family. It was really odd having passed that. At first I thought it might have been a fire or even a bomb threat because people were standing around and lots of police....then we got home, turned on the tv, and there it was.

BUT WE'RE OK!!!!!

The trip was good. It was nice to get away from the grind of the DC area, however, I am so tired because of my friend's 2 1/2 month old baby. What a cute little guy, but oh my gosh, it takes a lot to keep a little one content and cared for.

I visited the little "city" of Lawrence, KS. It's supposed to be a city, but it's really a big town. It's like a typical Mainstreet, USA and a college town (it's quaint). Which was kind of cool because there was a wide variety of people, lots to look at. For some reason I kept expecting to see souvenir shops or something because it seemed like a place where tourists would be. That's how nostalgic it was! I wish we could have had a bit more time to walk around, apparently KU has a nice art museum there. But we didn't get there.

And I just realized I didn't take any pictures at all! Oh well. Most of the time there was spent catching up with Amy (sans Travis, unfortunately) and meeting the bebe. it was just nice because it's kind of like coming home. They used to be a permanent fixture for me here and now they're there.

Still don't think I'll be moving there, but you never know where I'll be! HA!

Now I'm back, in my peaceful and clean apartment. I made it to the grocery store, made a kick-ass salad (if I do say so myself), and now I need to watch the news with one-eye closed.

Can I just say how much I hate Bush? A LOT! I know that we shouldn't have a specific date advertised to when troops leave.... SO why not leave that out, and make it secret? Apparently mission was not accomplished back in 2003. NO one really thought so, did they? He flew in on that aircraft carrier and all I thought was," Well I guess he fulfilled that childhood fantasy". But this has not been a successful mission for our troops. I guess you could look at the fact that Hussein is dead, but aren't we forgetting that the American public was lied to in the very beginning. So for me it's not about troops coming out... they never should have gone in!!!

OK- soap box is put away.

I went to a really neat spot in KCMO. It was a wine bar. We got a chance to taste a variety of wines. I got a "flight" called "Red for the Head". (gee I wonder why) It consisted of 3 reds. ALL GOOD! A zinfandel, a petite syrah, and a shiraz. Two of them we sell at my store. We also got a flight of cheese.. really good too. Amy got a "flight" of Italian reds, and Jeremy got a flight of bubbles! We all tried each other's and there was one we all didn't really enjoy a lot, and I think it was one of Amy's ----it was a blend of some grapes... I can't remember what it was...

Ok, short week for me. I can make it! I know I can.