Friday, August 31, 2007

Earth-shattering study

According to a recent study, 86% of Americans report being satisfied with their jobs.

That's not the shocking part. It's one particular statistic that will just blow you away. Ready?

To paraphrase: On average, those who make more than $110,000 per year are more satisfied with their jobs than those who make less than $12,500 annually.

Ya think???

The full article is here:

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I've been secretly and quietly back out in the dating game since I got back to FL. Nothing too good to report yet, though. When there's someone worth reporting back on, I shall.

Of course, you can THINK someone is worth it and find out you were sorely (I used to think that was "sourly") mistaken. But I digress. I'll go with my instincts, since those haven't proven me wrong yet (insert hysterical laughter and knee-slapping here).

Anyway, wish me luck! There was one guy I was actually kind of seeing for a while, but there were things about him that kind of bothered me so I let that phase out (plus, he had a dog). New date tonight--another teacher (not from my school).

Oh wait, I'm not supposed to be talking about that yet, though. We'll see how it goes. =-)
Blast From the Past (2, actually)

Oddly, I've heard from 2 exes in the last 24 hours. And I don't mean recent ones, either (although I did talk to one of them over the summer--and no, I don't mean Baby Daddy). Neither one are close enough to really do me any good, but it's still nice to hear various forms of "I miss you/wish you were here/thinking about you."

Also, not at all related to this topic, but I nailed a surprised observation/inspection today by our new Dean of Curriculum and Discipline. Holla!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SUCH a good show

I'm watching a documentary on TLC right now called "Crazy Sexy Cancer." It's about a young woman (20s or 30s) who was diagnosed with stage 4, incurable cancer. There's basically no treatment options left to her, so the show documents her journey for alternative treatments. Like she said, "I just feel helpless just sitting here. I have to try SOMETHING." She also interviews other young women with cancer along the way. "CSC" is surprisingly funny AND sad. It's just a one-time documentary (not a series or anything), but if you missed it, I HIGHLY recommend finding out when it'll be airing again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Silent nights (and days)

So I know that the reason a lot of you aren't post anymore is because you CAN'T. I don't know exactly why that's happening. For now, I set it back to anyone being able to comment--so even if you have to do it anonymously, you can. Now, if I start getting spammed again, I'll have to switch it back.

And is anyone else having this problem--that people are telling you they can't log in and/or post? If not, what are your blog settings?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back on a multitude of wagons

First: now that I'm all mentally stable and what not (tee hee), I'm 2 weeks smoke-free again (as of this Wed., that is). This time, I'm using the nicotine gum, because cold turkey just wasn't cutting it. The gum really helps, too--I've only had 2 cigarettes in 2 weeks, which is a LOT better than I normally do (and both, of course, were when I was drinking).

However, whilst quitting smoking on and off during the last couple of months, I've also gained back 5 of my 10 heartbreak pounds I lost last month. All told, I'm about 10 pounds heavier than I was a couple of summers ago when I was thin and pretty happy with it (I was easily an 8--a 6 in some brands; now I'm still an 8, but a very uncomfortable, tight 8, closer to a 10). Oh, and plus, my crazy pills are known to cause weight gain as well. (My only consolation is that, even with the weight I've gained back, I'm still down almost 20 from where I used to be, so I'm happy about THAT.)

SO, to combat all of that, I'm going back on the eDiets bandwagon. It's what I used when I lost weight a couple of years ago, so I KNOW it works. Yes, I mainly need to count calories and write everything down (the key, I truly believe), but this helps to motivate me and get me organized. Plus I love the weekly food plan and the convenient shopping list it prints out.

I have to sign up for a minimum of 3 months and by then I should EASILY be at my goal weight. So, here we go:

Current weight: 150
Goal weight: 140

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I assigned lockers to my homeroom yesterday afternoon. Now, at our school, 5th grade is the first year that they GET lockers, so this was Christmas, the 4th of July and Halloween all rolled into one. Seriously, they were just GIDDY.

In middle school, the locker-assignment process takes about 15 minutes. In 5th grade, it was a bit more involved.

"Now, how many of you have never opened a combination lock before?" I asked. Last year, there were a couple in each class.

This year, seventeen of my eighteen hands went up. Oy vey.

To make a long story short, we worked on lockers for an HOUR. I took the locks off each locker (because even after I drew a diagram on the board and thoroughly explained, most of them still couldn't do it) and brought them back into the room, where each student sat down with his or her lock until he/she could successfully open it. You should have seen the look on their faces when they got it, too. You'd think they were curing cancer in Room 234.

"Miss K!!!!! I did it!!!!! Here, watch!!!!!!"

I heard that about 82 times (because each child had to show me many, many times).

I keep forgetting that in 5th grade, I have to take a giant step BACK and show them EV-ER-Y-THING.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My first day

For the most part, everything went really well. I think I'll have fun in 5th grade this year. There is one class in particular that I'm going to have to be a lot tougher on because they're much chattier, but overall, it's a good group of kids. I'm teaching 3 language arts/social studies classes and then one intensive reading block for an hour and a half (I have the lowest group, since they know I did that last year with the middle schoolers).

The funniest part of the day for me was during reading, when they were filling out one of those "getting to know you" surveys. One of the questions asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. One girl had written "art detector" down as her future career choice. I called her up to my desk to try to figure out what, exactly, an art detector did. After asking her several questions, I discovered that she meant "architecture." (This same girl, in reply to the question, "Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself?" wrote "No, but thank you for asking." LOLLOLOL. This year is going to be a blast.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shocking entertainment news

Sigfried and Roy have publicly announced that they're gay, per the National Enquirer.

I'm sorry. Did those two REALLY think that they've been in the proverbial closet this whole time? They're so flamboyantly gay, I thought they WERE out. I mean, come on--was there really ever any question?

This is a story that even the ENQUIRER can't get wrong. What's next: "Magic Johnson admits he's slept around"? Or "Lohan: 'Yes, I'm a crack head.' " Or even "Britney acknowledges 'some bad parenting choices' ".

(I could keep going all night, really.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

This is the kind of teacher I want to be

I found the video they used as Ron Clark's intro at our summit yesterday. It'll make you laugh AND cry--just like the man himself. I LOVE HIM.

(This fall, he's opening up the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. I wanted to go teach there till I heard that he has a Teacher of the Year in EVERY classroom. Oh well....not yet, I guess.) =-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So early, it actually hurts

I've been somewhat inactive in Blog World this last week because I have officially been "back to school" (the kids come back on Monday). I've been pretty busy getting my room ready in the midst of all the pointless trainings and in-services they have us attending.

The Mother of All Pointless Trainings is tomorrow. We have to LEAVE SCHOOL at 5:30 (yes, in the morning), so I have to be up at 4:15. We're driving all the way to the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe and Casino for our company Summit. Now, this had the POTENTIAL to be cool--it's at a CASINO, for Pete's sake!!!! However, WE won't be in the casino. No, we'll be sitting in a rah-rah pep rally the whole day. The ONLY redeeming quality is that the guest speaker this year is Ron Clark, another god in the teaching world (last year, it was Harry Wong, a name that will mean nothing to you if you're not in the education field, but WE were pretty excited). Ron Clark was portrayed by Matthew Perry in a TNT movie last year, if some of you caught that. (It was actually pretty good.)

So that'll be my day. We aren't expected back to the school till 7:30 or so tomorrow night. It'll be a LONG day--and maybe an hour of that will be valuable to us.


Sunday, August 12, 2007


I've been taking my meds flawlessly. This is big for me since I'm HORRIBLE at remembering to take pills. Even when I'm sick--hacking up a lung from bronchitis, for example--I'll often forget. So being so diligent when I feel "well" (which, right now, I do) is a bit more challenging. Still, it hasn't been an easy few days, as my body adjusts to the medicine....

Day one: became flushed and starting sweating my ass off about 3 hours after my first dose.Was so miserable that I ALMOST felt bad for making fun of Mom and all of HER hot flashes. Menopause must be a whole different level of hell. Oddly, however, this profuse sweating was NOT one of the posted side effects so not sure what was going on there. Continued all day. Changed my Tshirt 3 times.

Days two and three: Sweating was gone but the thirst kicked in (this IS one of the known side effects). Drank 8 cans of pop and even more water each day. Moved into the bathroom since I was in there peeing so much anyway.

Days four and five: the thirst subsided and the drowsiness kicked in. Of course, "drowsy" is a typical state of being for me even when I'm NOT on drugs so I guess it was pretty much business as usual.

Day five: took a dose too long after eating. Laid in bed and prayed for death as a relief from the agoning, burning pain in my stomach. Had other gastronomic side effects as a result as well, of which I will spare you the details.

And that's where I am right now--pretty much drowsy but otherwise okay. Other than that, not feeling or seeing any changes yet, but I know that it'll be at least enough week and a half. The drowsiness sucks but it may be the lesser of evils, since many drugs have weight gain as a predominent side effect. And I'd rather be sleepy then gain back the weight I lost during my heartbreak phase a few weeks ago (hell, even with that little diet jump-start, I'm STILL carrying around that 8 extra pounds I picked up during my first year of teaching).

(Many people do report that lith. "numbs" or "dulls" them--I don't feel that yet.)

On the plus side, I finally mastered the pole back-bend that had me stymied. It was weird--one day, I was just able to DO it. Whoo hooo! Now I just have to nail the standing spins (I keep getting dizzy and staggering around like a drunken sailor--NOT as sexy as one might imagine).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Livin' la vida bipolar

Well, it appears that I have bipolar disorder.

This has been--oh, about 10-15 years in the making, although it's only been official for about 2 hours now. I've been told by no fewer than 7 mental health professionals over the years that they suspected I had it, at which time I stopped going...until the next episode, that is. I was absolutely unable to admit to myself that I might actually have this. A bad temper? Sure. A fiery disposition? Absolutely. Mood swings? Sure, but I'm a Scorpio!! We're very broody, intense, passionate people!

However, due to certain events, it's become impossible to ignore. I still hate that I have it, but as my psychiatrist said today--denying that I have it doesn't make it go away. It's still there, no matter what I do. However, leaving it untreated will only make it worse, and I'll continue to ruin relationships, my finances and my own well-being.

I start lithium today; we'll see how that works out.

I know that there's still a certain stigma attached with bipolar disorder. Intellectually, I understand that it's an illness, just like diabetes or asthma. But emotionally? It's really tough to admit--to myself, to you, to everyone--that I have it.

But it's not who I AM (which is why I've been careful throughout this post to avoid saying "I'm bipolar", as so many people do. After all, you wouldn't say, "Oh, you know Jen? She's diabetes."). It's a medical condition that I'm learning to manage so that someday, it will no longer affect my day to day least, not very often.

So wish me luck on this journey. Many of my posts about this will be irreverant because hey, that's how I roll. ;) And as I've discovered, bipolars have GREAT senses of humor. Hell, they have to, to deal with everything that comes along with this disease.

Anyway....any time I make fun or crack jokes about this condition, please don't take it to heart, especially if you or someone you know has it, as well. I am in no way making light of the disease itself. Trust me, I know know how heartbreaking and tough it is, both for people who have it and their loves ones. But as I mentioned, this is just MY way of dealing with things. I make jokes and use my sarcasm to make OTHER people laugh.

So sit back and enjoy the ride (although frankly, from here on out, it SHOULD be a lot smoother....).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Back from my world tour.... luggage, unfortunately, is not.

The trip itself (first to Michigan, then to NJ) was great. I had a wonderful time with friends back home and with my family. I got to spend 5 full days, 24/7, with my nieces and nephews (well, Katey's tribe, anyway), which was both incredibly rewarding and incredibly exhausting. I got to experience their first plane ride (they did GREAT, and Tyler's pure joy was truly touching to see--"I'm so excited!!!!!" he kept exclaiming during the flight), their first trip to the ocean, 3-year-old Savannah's rendition of Bon Jovi and Carrie Underwood classics, and Paige's first ride on an upside-down roller coaster.

The journey home (by myself, from Philly to FL), however, was a nightmare from start to finish.

Thanks to my always-be-prepared grandparents, I was at the airport approximately a week and a half before my flight. ;) After I checked my baggage and made it through the 45-minute line for security (the line stretched down the hallway for my terminal and into a whole different terminal--seriously, the Philly airport is HORRIBLE), I discovered that my 8 am flight to Indy had been delayed till 10:30. This was a problem, as my connecting flight from Indy to Ft Myers was leaving at 10:25.

I went to the next gate over and explained my problem. The lady did her fast-airline-typing and said, "Okay, there's a flight to Detroit about to leave 9 gates down. RUN and you can make it. There's an empty seat."

"What happens after I get to Detroit?" I asked.

"Ah, they'll figure that out down at the next gate," she answered dismissively, waving away my unimportant detail of how to get from Michigan to Florida.

So I hauled ass down to A6, stood there panting as THAT lady worked her clickity-click magic, and finally said, "Okay, here are your new boarding passes. You're checked through to Ft. Myers via a connection in Detroit."

Now at this point, I was actually quite happy with Northwest. Sure, my original flight had been delayed, but I was now on a NEW flight plan that left even EARLIER, and they sure worked quickly to make sure I was rerouted....

....until I arrived in Ft Myers, that is, (after numerous delayed on both of my "new" flights, but beggars can't be choosers, eh?) and was told that my luggage was still in Indy.


Long story short, it should be delivered tomorrow, until which time Dave (who picked me up; we're working on the friend thing) said I'll have to "pull a Focker." It won't be THAT bad, because at least I'm home with SOME clothes and basic toiletries, but my important stuff (my makeup! my flat iron!) is still MIA. Needless to say. I won't be making many public appearances till then....shit!!!! Except for the appointment I have with my "happy pill doctor" tomorrow morning. Oh well, if I look TOO good she won't think I'm crazy enough. ;)

So that, my friends, is it in a nutshell....or as close to a nutshell as my chatty ass can get.