Sunday, August 31, 2008

What do we think?

Thanks, Nik!

You Have A Type B+ Personality

You're a pro at going with the flow

You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer

A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.

Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done

You're passionate - just selective about your passions

Deep thought

One of my sensei's biggest complaints about me is that I don't hit hard enough. That's not to say I CAN'T--when I'm working with the punching bag, I can land a surprisingly (even to me) hard, solid punch. Working with other people, though--or even pretending to--is much harder for me. I keep holding back.

It suddenly occured to me why (okay, not suddenly, as I've been mulling about this for weeks--but it just CAME to me). See, during The Infamous Episode of 2007, I hit two people--many, many times. Two people who were very important to me. And I did irrevocable damage to both of those relationships. Hell, I did quite a bit of damage to MYSELF, both physically and otherwise. It's what finally convinced me, after a decade, to seek treatment. And I've spent the last 13 months making sure that something like that never, ever happens again. All the meds, all my therapy, every fiber of my being has gone into "getting better" and not "going crazy" again.

I know that controlled punches in karate are much, much different from what happened that night. But I've spent so much time, money and effort into reigning in that part of me--burying it way down deep--that it's hard to now "throw a punch," no matter what the situation or circumstances. I threw plenty of them that night--and it wasn't pretty. So now it's very hard for me to --I don't know, give myself permission, I guess, to really PUNCH someone (I should note that in class, we don't go around walloping each other--but when working with Sensei, we're supposed to throw real punches because, of course, they don't actually LAND, as she's a black belt and I still suck).

I don't know if any of this makes any sense because I'm still trying to work it out for myself. I guess the bottom line is that my brain is still making a connection that "punching = bad" --not to mention that it brings up some pretty ugly memories and flashbacks for me. I know that night was horrible for them--but hell, it wasn't good for me, either. The damage and shame of that night will stick with me the rest of my life--although I guess it's kind of like an alcoholic going on the bender to end all need the experience of it to stay "on the wagon." And any time I'm even TEMPTED to go off my meds (" 'cuz I've been okay for so long now" and "maybe I'm really NOT bipolar, I've just gotten more mature and gotten a better grip on my temper and THAT'S why I haven't had an episode --or at least one like that--in 13 months"), I just have to think back to that night....and that's all the motivation I need.

I'm sure this will pass and I'll break through (no pun intended) my little punching phobia. After all, if I'm going to kick ass, I have to quit being such a p*ssy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My year of firsts

This year, I experienced my first broken bone (which sucked). Yesterday, I got my first sting (a wasp, also quite sucky). It was out by my dumpster, on my toe (I know, kind of a weird place--or maybe not, here in Florida, where we live in flip-flops and sandals). Within a couple of minutes I was incredibly nauseous and my tongue felt kind of weird, but it passed in an hour or so. It must have been from the venom--if I was actually allergic, I think it would have been a lot worse.

Here's hoping I make it to 32 relatively unscathed. ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My crooked geniuses

My school is having a contest to create a slogan or catchphrase for our school, to be put on Tshirts that our kids can wear on dress-down days, field days, etc. We spent some time brainstorming this afternoon, and I have to say, I'm quite impressed. We played off of slogans they already know and made them our own. (Is that illegal? LOL) After a few missteps, they started coming out with things like "BSCA: I'm learnin' it" (after McDonald's) and "BSCA: Get ya' head in the game" (High School Musical, of course)--and from there, they were on fire. The slogan we ended up going with?

"It's not school. It's BSCA." (Wendy's)

I thought that was damn good for a bunch of 10 year olds.

A second one we submitted was "BSCA: Learn your stuff here" --not based on a slogan, but it made me laugh out loud so we went with it.

(Note: "BSCA" are not the letters for our school, but in order to protect the innocent (and myself), I'm hiding our true identity.)
I spoke too soon

As of 2 pm today

Now granted, this could still move in either direction over the next several days; the "uncertainty surrounding the track and strength of Gustav is very large.” However, it looks like I'll definitely have to watch this a little more closely than I had hoped. And this one makes me pretty damn nervous: it could be a big one. Hell, it's already hit land as a 1, and although it's gone back to tropical storm status, they almost always pick up speed over water. One thing's for sure: our Labor Day weekend could definitely suck.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dodging bullets

As you may have heard, there's another hurricane headed in this general direction--and Gustav is looking to be a whole lot nastier than the tropical storm that just came through last week. Although this morning's forecast cone put us in the eastern edge of the storm, updated predictions now have it JUST skimming us to the west. Let's hope it stays that way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm checking their desks for flasks

After the first day, I mentioned that this was an exceptionally "crooked" group of line walkers.

Now that a week has passed....they've gotten crooked-er.

We had to practice walking in the hall today...again.

It looks like I'm being trailed by a big fifth-grade S.

Seriously. They are physically incapable of walking directly behind the person in front of them. They drift and weave like college kids at pub crawl.

Don't get me wrong: they're quiet and well-behaved. In fact, they received a compliment from another teacher while walking to specials (which thrilled them, since it moved them one step closer to a pizza party). They just cannot walk straight.

It would be funny if it was not starting to really piss me off.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I don't think so, Tim

I just found out in karate class that Sensei has plans for me Valentine's Day weekend.

Go check that out and then come back here for the discussion. ;)

I told her, as politely and respectfully as I could, that she is clearly high (my word choice may have been slightly different).

A freakin' karate tournament? ME? Tell me that's not worth a plane ticket to Florida right there.

I should say that it's not like the tournament in The Karate Kid--at least, not my event. I would be performing the kata I've been working on, competing against other adult female white belts. She says I'd actually have a decent shot at placing: 1) that's not a large pool of competitors to begin with and 2) since it's RIGHT before I test for green belt, I'll have been a white belt (not to mention practicing this particular kata) for quite some time, thereby increasing my chances.

We're all going; I think it will be fun as hell. But actually getting up and competing in front of all those people? ME?

Not so much.
I TOLD you Olay was good

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had 2 big talkers in class already--P. being one of them. But what I didn't mention is that P. is also educably mentally impaired, which means that his IQ officially classifies him as retarded. (Frankly, he shouldn't be at our school, because as a charter school we don't have the resources to help him, but his parents refuse to admit that he's anything but "slow.") He can carry on a regualar conversation, play with other kids, etc--but mentally and academically, he's gone about as far as he can go. He's a good kid, though--he just has no impulse control at all, hence the talking. (He's also, quite literally, the size of a high-school football player.)

So yesterday, the kids were working on an essay (so I can assess where each is in their writing). P. did a better job than I expected, frankly--he's definitely not writing at even a 5th grade level but he knows what he's doing. I had him by me and was prompting him at certain points when he'd get stuck or start to get off task.

At one point, he sadly said to me, "Miss K, I'm the only 12 year old in the class."

Well, I knew from my roster that this actually wasn't the case (I have the low 5th grade class again, per my request, and so a good number of kids have been held back at least once). I assured him, "Actually, P., no you're not. There's someone else who is 12, too."

"There IS?" he asked, his eyes brightening and a grin spreading across his face. "Who?"

"Oh, no you don't," I told him, smiling. "I'm not telling you, and you're not going to ask. I just wanted you to know that you're not the only one, so don't feel bad."

I went back to grading papers, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him silently surveying the class, trying to find his co-12-year-old. "Who IS it?" he kept murmuring softly. His eyes were narrowed and his forheard was wrinkled in deep thought and concentration.

"P.," I stage-whispered. "Essay. Write."

"I'm thinking," he stage-whispered back (which is the only type of whisper he knows how to do, LOL).

Suddenly, his face lit up and he turned to me, so excited. He looked like he had solved the riddle of the Sphinx.

"Miss K!!" he burst out, unable to contain himself. "Are YOU 12?!??!?!" You could tell that he was convinced that he had totally figured it out. He was busting at the seams, he was so proud of himself.

I couldn't help it. I let out one of my huge belly-busting laughs. "No, P., I'm not," I told him. "But you made my day. I look young enough to be 12! Thank you so much!"

P. smiled proudly and wrote for a couple of minutes. Then he stopped once ore to verify, "So it's not you?"

"No," I told him. "It's not me."

The story is both adorable and heartbreaking. It was one of the cutest things ever--but at the same time, it shows where he truly is mentally if he actually and sincerely believed that his teacher could be the other 12 year old in the room.
My new new boyfriend

Fiance's back! We hadn't really talked for a couple of weeks, but he called last night 'cuz he was bored. I told him he could totally come over and hang out but that Brad was out of town for the weekend--and he answered, "I know." =-)

Alrighty then.

So we cooked dinner, watched movies, and made a 1 am Mickey D's run. I had to drive him home because he had a glass too many of wine. (He's such a lightweight for a dude, I swear.) And yes, he kissed me. I still can't freakin' tell if he wants to DATE me though or if we're just kind of hanging out. And I don't know if we SHOULD date, cuz he's Roommate's friend and that could get complicated.

He's not my normal type--not so much of a smartass, really, but VERY intellectual. At one point, he started talking about how Ithica and Utica, both in New York, also had something else in common, that they were both named after some Greek god or some shit....I don't know, I stopped listening, but he's big into history and stuff. He makes me feel stupid sometimes, he knows so much shit. He reads historical books for FUN, yo. But he also brought some "chick flick" movies over for me last night because he thought I'd like them, so he's not all bad. =-)

I think the thing with New Boyfriend #1 may be fizzling out but hey, one door closes and another opens, eh?

We shall see.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Breaking news: Fred sighted in Michigan!

An email from my sister, a server....

A man came in to Logan's tonight and had no pants on. I swear. He had on a button up short sleeve Hawaiian shirt and, like speedo type undies that were riding up and all his junk was hanging out. EVERYONE was staring at him. I have never seen that before. WHO WOULD WALK IN TO A RESTAURANT LIKE THAT? DOES HE NOT REALIZE THAT'S NOT RIGHT? The entire place was talking about him. It was hysterical.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And now for a rousing game of Where's Jen?

(I'm assuming it's okay to post this pic, as *I* got it from our school's website.)

And yes, I know the faces are very small. That's what makes the game so exciting. (I tried to enlarge it but it just distorted/blurred the photo. I'll keep working on it, though. If someone else can do it and email it to me, that'd be cool too.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The storm--a retrospective

I found this video on Youtube. It does a good job of showing what I had going on over here in the early morning hours. It also has music! (You'd have to mute and/or pause my blog song.) The song is growing on me, too. (I think I would have used "Umbrella," though--if I had THIS MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS.)

And then this one was just funny as hell. People get REALLY bored when hurricanes come, LOLOL.

The electrician


Okay, now that things have calmed down a bit, here's the scoop on the new guy:

We actually talked on MONTHS ago, maybe even pre-LCB--in fact, we may have stopped talking BECAUSE of LCB. I don't recall for sure; at any rate, we started emailing again about 2 weeks ago. He disappeared for about a week (turns out he had gone to Niagra Falls and back home to Boston with his daughter) and then started texting last week. We met for dinner at Applebee's on Sunday afternoon and stayed there for almost 4 hours. He's freakin' ADORABLE and a truly genuine, good guy (so far, LOL).

Our 2nd "date" was riding out the hurricane. He lives in a town called Cape Coral, which is obviously surrounded by water and pretty low-level. Jokingly, I offered to protect him and he took me up on it. (It reminded me of Mom and Steve's first "date" when she invited him over one Thanksgiving so he wouldn't be alone--it was much the same idea). So Brad, Electrician (ironically, who is also named Steve) and I had a hurricane party (which was more like a tropical storm party, as it turned out). I just kept thinking of his daughter and my dad: if there was a hurricane, I wouldn't want MY dad to be alone, ya know? (By the way: his daughter attends one of "my" charter schools, a couple of towns over. Small world. She's in 6th grade.)

So....that's about it. And it's funny, because even though it was only our second date, I think we're well on our way to being "together." A big change from LCB, with whom it took months to reach that same definitive conclusion (and even then, we "together" isn't the right word, as he was SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE). With Electrician, there's no wondering or games. He's into me and he shows it. (Now I'll never hear from him again, LOL.) He calls--when he says he will and sometimes even when he doesn't. He told me he thought about me 9 times the day after our date--9 because he "didn't want to be gay and go into the double digits like a chump," hahhhaha. He WANTS to see me. It's not a rushing thing, either--it's just happening naturally. It's kind of cool. I feel comfortable with him and, of course, he's a smart ass. He cracked me up last night. A lot.

Anyway. That's that. So far, so good. We'll see.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

So all in all, it was a great day. I really like my class. Two of them are going to be issues. Expect to hear a lot about P. and M. this year. =-)) They won't stop talking, ALREADY. And everyone knows you're on your "best" behavior that first day. Imagine how they'll be once they feel more comfortable and relaxed.

The morning was all about going over expectations, procedures and rules. We practiced "Give me 5," walking in the hallway (Yes, even at 5th grade--and I'll be damned if this isn't the most crooked class I've ever had), etc. We talked about everything from where to turn in homework to how to check out books from my library. After alllllll of that, I have them a spelling pretest (Hell yea! First day, bitches!) and it was time for lunch and recess. After that, they had art and we briefly started discussing "heritage," the subject of our first unit in reading. I do believe that I struck a good balance of first-day-niceness and first-day-strictness. I feel pretty happy with how things went today. (Of course, we spent some time talking about Fay, as that fits under science and current events. I let them know when, around 11, we were officially put under a hurricane warning.)

School has, of course, been cancelled for Tuesday.

Special shoutout to Scheki: sorry I missed you last night. I had my date, then another friend stopped by (okay. Not a friend. LCB.)--and tonight, as we know, is a bit crazy. =-) Do you get to Ft. Myers often, though? (LOL. "Do you come here often?")

Sunday, August 17, 2008


See that third little "hurricane" from the bottom, the one that says "8 am Tuesday"?

Yeah, that's me. Almost exactly. If it were shifted slightly off the coastline, it'd be smack dab on top of me.

Since that bitch Fay's projected arrival time has shifted more from Monday night to Tuesday morning, they just announced that we WILL have school on Monday. And after that, who knows.

I'm not too freaked out. Yet. More moridly curious to see what my first real hurricane will be like. I hesitate to use the word "excited" because God knows these things can cause tragedy and destruction and I feel like it would be disrespectful to past hurricane victims to even go there--maybe "anxious" is the word, anxious to finally experience one and get my first hurricane out of the way. Like a final rite of passage to becoming a true Floridian. (Oh, wait. I have to fuck up the voting process in November--THEN I'll be a real Floridian. Ha ha) The fact that it's still projected to be a 1 or 2 does help, although even those are nothing to sneeze at (LOL. Even in the midst of a meteorological crisis, I'm still slipping in my gay phrases). I'm not so much worried about damage (less likely, as a lower-level hurricane) as losing power (more likely, even as a 1). I'm not big on "roughing it."

I'm hoping to be able to get a snippet (LOL) of the storm on video from my phone and post it on here--and definitely pictures, before, during and after. I feel like I'm reporting from the trenches, LOL. (Of course, THAT plan will be shot to hell if I dive, squealing, under my bed at the mere hint of our first raindrop, which is not out of the question.) has good coverage, if I go incommunicado and you want to play along at home.

My point of contact will be Mom, i.e. the Rock of Gibralter In All Types of Crises (tee hee)--so she'll have the latest. Her # is 1-800-NERVOUS-BREAKDOWN. ;) Maybe I'll make Katey POC #2, but she's already told me to "go outside and wait for it," so perhaps not. LOL

My rooommate just told me that I've already blown the "true Floridian" thing, because I went out and bought 10 (!!!) gallons of water yesterday, and a "real Floridian never would have done that. Loser."

Um...I think that's all. There will be other posts before then, of course, including a First Day of School One--but that about covers the hurricane stuff.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My first hurricane?

Karate class is cancelled on Monday night, my sensei told me today, due to "the hurricane."

Hurricane? Imagine my surprise, as I've been so busy this past week getting ready for school that I've apparently been out of touch with the outside world. I had absolutely no idea.

Here's what I discovered once I got home:

The storm track continues to point the potential hurricane in the direction of south Florida by Monday night or Tuesday morning.

All residents of South Florida need to stay well informed on Tropical Storm Fay this weekend.

Latest models and the National Hurricane Center track this storm close to or over South Florida on Tuesday, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane.

(For those of you who didn't do well in geography, Ft Myers is near the bottom left-hand side of the state.)

While the models are fairly uniform in the forecast track, there is still a great deal of uncertainty due to the disruption of the low-level circulation over Hispaniola over night.

If the center re-forms north or south of the expected location, the forecast tracks will likely shift.

There is also a great deal of uncertainty regarding the intensity of Fay as it makes its closest approach on Tuesday, due to interaction with Cuba on Sunday and Sunday night.

And as of Saturday afternoon, school IS still scheduled to start on Monday.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I can't help myself

My team and I were discussing the use of Legos in a science experiment (don't ask) today. As Rich was explaining his concept, he said, "....and with Legos, you put them together and then take them apart again...."

That was all I needed.

I slapped my forehead. "Oh, is THAT how they work!" I exclaimed. "I can't tell you HOW often I've been faced with a set of Legos and had absolutely NO IDEA what to do with the darn things."

About halfway through my dramatization, the other two women on my time were snickering and Rich was mock- (at least, I THINK it was mock) glaring at me.

"Are you quite finished?" he asked.

I gave him a regal wave. "Carry on."

The other ladies and I worked hard to compose ourselves and straighten our faces as he continued.

"So anyway, we'd take the Legos...."

And I lost the battle again.

"If I had a dollar for every time...." I began, sadly, under my breath.

Liz, Jill and I lost it again and even Rich started to smirk.

Seriously, I'm COMPELLED to be a smartass sometimes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My week

Some highlights so far:

* I officially reported back on Monday (the kids start next week, although I'll meet many of them tomorrow at Open House). I've put countless hours into my classroom this week (and even some last week) and just TODAY it started to actually LOOK like a classroom (as opposed to a "storage shed," as Rich put it, before I gave him the snake eye and he backed out the room in fear). Tomorrow morning, I write my lesson plans for next week. This week is, as you can imagine, flying by for me. I'm incredibly sore tonight from moving my furniture, then moving it again, the moving it back to the first place, then deciding that both places sucked and moving it to a third. But today was my most productive day yet. Am I completely finished? No. Is it perfect? No. Is it good enough for OH (Open House, not Ohio)? Yes. And sometimes, my friends, you have to settle for "good enough".

*I switched meds again this week and so far, so good. In fact, knock on wood, I think this one is going to work for me. That HORRIBLE feeling that I've posted about is gone and I'm relaxed and can concentrate again. Sleeping like shit this week but that's from being stressed/nervous/excited about work and not due to nuttiness.

*I finished 2 of my 3 major assignments for one of my Masters classes and will finish the 3rd this weekend (come hell or high water), thereby fulfilling my goal of completing at least one class this summer (by the skin of my teeth, of course).

All in all, it's been a good week so far. And I'm only halfway through!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Too awesome not to post

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) - The sauce for a spicy Italian sandwich was apparently a must have for one Florida man.

The man, Reginald Peterson, called 911 twice after a sandwich shop left off the sauce.

A police report says Peterson initially called so that officers could have his sandwiches made correctly. The second call was to complain that police officers weren't arriving fast enough.

Subway workers told police that 42-year-old Peterson became belligerent and yelled when they were fixing his order. They locked him out of the store when he left to call police.

When officers arrived, they tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of 911. Those efforts failed, and he was arrested on a charge of making false 911 calls.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.


Also: just saw this ad in a magazine and got a chill. This is me in 20 years. Seriously.

I actually did a double take when I saw it. Mostly the hair and the smile...and the eyes and the nose...and the coloring...does anyone else see it? Or is it just me?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Premenstrual much?

I've been crying all afternoon.

I'm watching Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. Glowing brides, stunning gowns, smitten fiances--and MY old-maid ass. So bawling at this show isn't, in itself, unusual--hell, it's just another Sunday. =-)

Then a Home Depot commercial came on.


LOL. I couldn't even tell you what it was about. Something about a young couple. There may have been a baby involved--or on the way--there was some wood involved--power tools--I'm really not sure. But something about it just set me off.

I have been having mild cramps, too, so I do believe it's getting to be that time.

(Sorry, Fred.)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Clash of the Worlds

For the first time, Shawn and Brad have met. Shawn stopped by for a little while last night and Brad and John (aka Fiance) were here.

And of course--OF COURSE--Brad and LCB hit it off like gangbusters. In fact, they were swapping numbers and shit. I think they may have been making plans to go shopping, but I'm not sure. ;)

Ten bucks says I start coming home and finding LCB here, playing video games and engaging in--"other recreational activities" with my roommate.

And it may have been my imagination, but I could have sworn that LCB was "marking his territory" around Fiance. I know it's not a getting-back-together thing in any way, but he did revert back to pet names and some outward affection. I punched him, though. ;) (But not hard, cuz part of me liked it. I thought it was kind of cute.)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ya' down with G-O-D? Yeah, you know me!

This is what happens when I try to pray. This is an actual prayer that just escaped from my lips.

"God, please make this horrible itchy feeling go away. Seriously, I feel miserable. Please give me peace. I haven't had a feeling of peace for days now. I mean, I know you probably can't take it away TOTALLY, cuz of the meds and stuff--crap, who am I talking to? It's GOD. Of COURSE he can "take it away totally." Crap, now I just said crap in my prayer. Sorry, God. So anyway, if you can take this feeling away totally and give me some peace and rest, I would so appreciate it. But if you can't, please just take it away at least a little. Thanks. Amen."

And the funniest part? I really DO feel calmer--"at least a little." God must have a sense of humor.
Getting a little excited. But just a little.

Our class lists were posted this week. As of now, I have 22 kids and I know (or at least recognize the names) of about a fourth of them. 3 are the siblings of former students--and since these are all parents with whom I had particularly good relationships, I don't think it's a coincidence that their kids are in my class again. (In fact, I know for sure that 1 of them was going to request me--and I know this because, ironically, she's the receptionist at my bone doc's office. Small world, huh? I walked in for my first appointment and as I was signing in, I hear "Well hello, Miss K. So YOU'RE the teacher who broke her arm." LOL)

I'm still not ready to go back...but getting your class list is always kind of cool.
Happy Birthday, Anna!!

Thursday is (was) Anna's birthday. Now, the argument could be made that I "forgot" her birthday, as I'm not posting this till 1 am on Friday. However, I present to you the following counterarguments:

* Where SHE lives, it's still her bday for like 3 minutes.

* 1 am for me is like 4 pm (of the previous day) for everyone else; therefore, I actually have PLENTY of time and am not "late" in my birthday wishes

Happy (very on-time) Birthday!!!!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The latest way to kill some time

My new favorite website. Have fun.

And then that site led me to THIS one... <----------ADDED LINK

PS--Been busy adjusting to Abilify. Have been struggling with this darling little side effect for the last 4 days or so (in addition to re-learning how to walk after Monday, LOL): "The most commonly observed adverse events associated with ABILIFY (reported by 5% or more of ABILIFY patients and more than twice as often as placebo patients) were an inner sense of restlessness or need to move (akathisia)..." I didn't find out what was going on until I finally, after days of feeling miserable, broke down and left my crazy doc a message, trying to put into words the sensation that had been overtaking me the last few days: the best I could do was "I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin and I can't sit still." She called me back (on vacation!) and said yes, this was actually normal. I'm assuming it will get better as my body adjusts to the meds. On the plus side, my thoughts have definitely slowed down (however, I've lost ANOTHER week of working on my Masters stuff--my thoughts are no longer racing, but now it's my body that can't "keep still").

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Puerto Rico, here I come!

I got my hair cut today (don't worry, Mom, I didn't spend money--I had my Penney's card ;) ), and My New Favorite Stylist, Ilene, is from Puerto Rico. We spent the whole time talking about how beautiful the beaches are there and, more importantly, how cheap the flights are from Florida (or, as they say it down here, Flori-der). So, I'm going to start saving up money to go there. Hell, Spirit just had a deal--$100 for 3 nights, 4 days. Yes, seriously. I have two possible dates: my spring break in April OR (and this would be sweet) Thanksgiving weekend. If I did the Thanksgiving trip, I would go by myself (something else on my List of Things To Do Before I Die: take a trip by myself--and going to Minneapolis for work a few years ago didn't count) and just chill on the P.R. beaches for a few days. Frankly, that sounds more appealing than spending another Turkey Day here with the other single teachers.

Oh, and one other thing: if I really like it down there, I'm going to move there for a year and teach English (something else on my List: live abroad for a year. I don't know if Puerto Rico technically counts as "abroad," but I'm counting it anyway). If my psychic was right, my single years are dwindling, and I have lots of shit to knock out before then. =-) (Along those same lines: I wonder if they have bullriding down there?) ;)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Shugro this

Today was our monthly shugro (Japanese for "a can of whupass is about to be opened upon you") day. NO other students showed up. Now I know why. Bad. Very bad. Just me and Sensei. All her energy was focused on making sure I'd have to be carried out. Came damn close. At one point I was sprawled on ground, hollering "Keep going! I'm right behind you!"

Am traumatized. Know I will not be moving any body part tomorrow so will check in later.

Bad. Very bad.

(However, once I can move again I'm TOTALLY going to start doing these moves at home. I will soon be in ass-kicking shape myself because seriously, this workout was INTENSE.)

BTW--I just found out that at my first promotion (hopefully) ceremony at the beginning of October (and at every one after that), I have to break a board. Luckily, this one involves my foot/leg instead of hand/arm (although of course, that's coming, too)--and also luckily, my legs are freakishly strong from 4 years of fitness walking. Still, this should make for a rousing game of Which Bone Will Jen Break Next?. Will it be something obvious, like a foot or ankle, or will I lose my balance, fall over, and rebreak my elbow or another upper appendage?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

You may have been in Martial Arts too long when...

**This list is courtesy of my Sensei (I'm not sure where SHE got it, so I'll just give credit to her. I shortened the list to those I thought most everyone would get a kick out of (ha! get it?)--but some of these may be more "insider-y" than I anticipate. Hell, some of them are just funny because you can picture me doing them. ;) Anyway, I hope you enjoy (at least a few)...**

you say "I'm sorry" and involuntarily bow

you go to the shoe store to try on shoes and instead of walking or jogging around the store, you practice pivoting, sweeps, stances and kicks

you're practicing your arm blocks while driving down the highway, notice someone in another car staring at you, and suddenly turn your block into vigorously fanning away an imaginary fly

you use various strikes to turn lights off and on

open and close doors with spinning kicks

find yourself idly doing iaido and kenjitsu moves with the plastic knives at the fast food place

can't walk by anybody else from your school without casually exchanging a flurry of mock strikes and kicks

leap to your feet and shriek with indignation while watching "Kung Fu", "Walker, Texas Ranger", and "Highlander" at home

deliberately go to see martial arts movies in the theater so you can leap to your feet and shriek with indignation during the movie, out in the parking lot, and with all your friends the next time you're at class

find yourself practicing bo staff techniques in miniature with your pencil during dull meetings

try to backfist the correct floor button on the inside of the elevator, based on your memory of the button's location, before you get in far enough to see it

notice you never stand with your arms crossed or your hands in your pockets

tend to keep at least one flavor of martial arts weapon close at hand by your bed when you sleep

answer 'hai!' instead of 'yes!'

you accidentally (and repeatedly) call your favorite professor “Sensei”

standing in line, you find yourself practicing some stance from your art

you don't use any tools while splitting firewood ----> LOLOL

you see some wood or concrete, even things like stools or tables, and get excited while you picture just how you would go about breaking it. Then you get funny looks as you feel it and give it a look of hard concentration, then maybe measure off a few times

I'm getting married!

His name is John; he's a friend of Brad's. I had a crush on him shortly after my breakup with LCB, but then I thought I was just rebounding so I got over him. =-) A month later, though, my crush is officially back on.

It started with me telling him that Brad and I were going to come stay with him when our place gets de-termited. "I've got a nice big bed," he said laviciously. (Oooh, I get like triple points for that one.) "Good," I said, smiling angelically. "And it's sweet of you to sleep on the couch so I can have it all to myself."

The flirting took off from there. I made the boys dinner (so you KNOW I like him, LOL). At one point Brad went to the store, and John "helped" me cook (coming in to tell me I should turn up the temp on the burgers, add more seasoning to the fries, etc. I won't tell you my response to his suggestions, but it wasn't very ladylike).

Somewhere along the way, we decided we were getting married, which of course led to a conversation on how we'd make a living. John told me that actually, he'd been thinking about going back to school to be a teacher. "Oh, we can be a little Teacher Family," I said. "We'll be poor, but we'll live on love. You, me, John Junior--or JJ as we'll call him--and little Lexie," I gushed. "Oh, it'll be grand." (My use of the word "grand" made him snort out his beer.)

When our meal was ready, John, upon trying my turkey burgers, said, "If the rest of your cooking is as good as this, I will impregnate you toNIGHT." Brad laughed and told him to hold off on that. "I haven't seen her cook since our 'honeymoon period' right after she moved in," he told John as I glared at him from the kitchen. "Hey, considering the fact that I'm not sleeping with either one of you, I'd say this is a pretty intricate meal," I told him, gesturing at the turkey burgers, fries and corn dogs. In preparation for our upcoming nuptuals, John asked if I had a large dowry. "If by 'dowry' you mean 'chest,' then yes," I answered. (LOL, now you KNOW I like him, since I'm always at my smart-assed best around a guy I'm attracted to.)

Later, John and Brad were talking about checking out the hot girls at Starbucks. "Excuse me," I primly told John. "I don't think you're allowed to do that anymore." "Sorry, dear," he told me as Brad rolled his eyes. (You gotta start training them early, you know what I mean?)

Anyway, it's still (mainly) innocent, but I do suspect that there's an undercurrent of seriousness underneath it all (not the marriage thing, but possibly a definite mutual attraction. However, the fact that he's Brad's friend does add a potential complication, so we'll see. And speaking of which, can I tell you how refreshing it is to be able to even joke about marriage and kids without the other party breaking out into hives and/or throwing himself off the side of a boat? Ahem).
Is it wrong...

that I flipped somebody off today?

Did I mention that I was on my way to church?

(Dude was TOTALLY asking for it, though.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Room with a view

So this pic totally doesn't do it justice, but this is the view from my new classroom. Focus on the palm trees and the beautiful sparkling lake (and the bright view sky)--not so much the parking lot, which I tried to crop out. =-)

Seriously, I love Florida.