Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Actually, I'm not sure WHERE the hell I am. The word "Orlando" is associated with the name of our hotel, but we are not definitely not in Orlando. I DO recall passing some sheep on the way here, though. We had to drive like 12 miles down a small, deserted highway to find a place to drink--I mean, eat--tonight. We're staying at a Hampton Inn, so it's pretty nice. It's like Civilization Island in the middle of BFE Ocean.
We got here (wherever "here" is) about 6:30. I helped the guy from corporate (LOL--otherwise known as my friend, C.--it's still so funny that he's risen so high in the company. To me, he's still the guy who gets smashed on 2 Long Islands and sings REALLY bad karoake) schedule all of the observations for tomorrow and Thursday on the drive up. I got to do it because a) I'm the only one who could work on the laptop without getting car sick and b) I announced, while we were roughly 3 miles from the school, that I was "already bored".
We all went out to dinner, where nothing much happened--oh, except for SECURING THE 5th TEAM LEAD JOB FOR NEXT YEAR. That's right--I used my face time with the boss very wisely once again. =-) So go me.
OK that's about it for now. I'm nervous about tomorrow--going in to the other schools and representing the company. Wish me luck! Check back tomorrow for another exciting update.
(Then again, Hot Teacher--he went to Ron Clark with me--and I were talking about a card game for tomorrow night, so I may be busy.) ;) (It's a continuation from Atlanta. He hates that I was ahead when we finally called it a night.)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I attended my first derby practice today. (I just watched; you aren't allowed to actually skate until you've attended 2 practices and 2 open skates.) Their coach (and let me tell you, he's pretty hard core) had them do body conditioning/cardio for the first hour or so--things like pushups, situps, lunges across the entire length of the rink, etc. (That part alone is going to get me buff as hell.) THEN they put on their skates and basically did laps around and around the floor for the next hour, practicing speed and endurance. (On Wednesdays, they do more derby-specific exercises and drills.) Apparently, they had their "asses handed to them" (the coach's words) in their away game last weekend, so they're going to be stepping things up.
If I do this, it'll be a pretty major commitment. Practices will now be on Sunday, Wednesdays AND Fridays. Plus, I'll have to put in extra time at first to attend to such little matters as, oh, learning how to skate (which is where the Monday open skate nights come in). Luckily, I am coming up on summertime, so I'll have lots of time to devote to it, which is cool. And I'll NEED that time, since I have to pass a skating test before I can even participate in the bouts (now that I've watched them, it's entirely possible that I wouldn't even be able to bout this season--this first season may just be a time for me to focus on becoming a strong skater).
Still, if I can DO something like this--really do it--two things will happen:
1) I will get into SHAPE. And I don't mean just losing weight, although after talking to the other girls, that will be a natural byproduct of skating 3+ times a week. I've lost weight before, though. I mean, I'll become TIGHT--and strong. I'll be an athelete!! Whoot! But even more importantly...
2) My self-confidence is going to shoot through the roof, if I can walk in as I am now, stick with it and actually do this. I've never been particularly tough (physically, I mean), although karate definitely helped with that. Taking a punch to a stomach from a 5th degree black belt--even at 50%--can show you that you're stronger than you thought. Karate also helped with my self- esteem. Frankly, without karate, I don't think I would ever have even DREAMED of trying something like this. But even if I don't get to play this season--even if I'm on the sidelines, cheering them on, while I work on becoming a stronger skater and player--I can still show others, and MYSELF, that I can do this. Plus, "derby girl" will be another experience that I can add to my list of things I've tried.
And who knows? Between my raging PMS, my craziness and my natural, everyday bitchiness, I may have found my sport!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
You know those VIPs who converge upon my school several times a year for site visits, who observe me, my coworkers and my school as a whole, and then report back to corporate?
Well this week, I *AM* one of those VIPs for two of our schools. Yup--my principal has asked me to join the site visit team for our latest round. I'll be joining her, 2 other teachers from my school and another member of corporate (who actually is a friend of mine; he started out as a member on our 5th grade team last year and rose quite rapidly through the ranks) who is based out of our school. We leave on Tuesday night and spend the night in Orlando, where we'll be observing a school the next day. Then we're back on the road to Palm Bay, the location of our site visit on Thursday. I'll be back home on Thursday night.
It's a major compliment, of course, that Mrs. A asked me to join the team this time around. It shows that she finds me to be a very competent teacher, to the extent that I'm "qualified" to observe OTHER teachers and then sit down with them afterwards, telling them what they did well and what they could work on. I kind of feel like an imposter, to be honest; hell, I'm only in my 3rd year of teaching myself, and I'll undoubtedly be observing and critiquing teachers with more experience. Then again, I've also been with this same company all of those 3 years, and I do know exactly what they're looking for during these visits, having had to get ready for a couple of dozen of those over the years. They provide you with a checklist of sorts, from things that should be in the rooms (interactive word walls, for example) and teaching strategies and methods that should be employed. Plus, I'm a good bullshitter--I'll put on my poker face and make it LOOK like I know what the hell I'm doing. ;)
In the last few months, I've definitely gotten into Mrs. A's good graces. That's due, to some extent, to being a team lead and therefore just being a bit more visible. However, there was another event (one that some of you know about) that also caused a shift in the dynamic--one that really put me on her radar. LCB and I went out to dinner one night (yes, this was after I had sworn him off, which I why I didn't mention it, LOL), where my principal and her husband were sitting at the bar. They invited us to join them and I got to enjoy some major face-time with the big boss. Ironically, she LOVED Shawn (my friend, the one going on the trip, later told her, "Yeah, well, you're the only one") and was utterly charmed by him, and since that dinner, she seems to seek me out much more frequently (my friends, only half-jokingly, tease me about my "double date with the boss").
That's not to discredit the fact that I've been working really hard and that I HAVE seem to have found my niche in teaching. However, success in business (and make no mistake about it--working for a charter school company IS very much like being back in the business world. You definitely have to "play the game," and my previous work experience in the corporate world has also given me advantage that those new to teaching may not have) often has to do with being in the right place at the right time. And that night, I definitely was.
In addition to this site visit thing, I was also just given ANOTHER opportunity on Friday--a pretty damn big one. They're sending me and another teacher to Orlando for a week this June to attend a training/seminar--one that will train US to come back and teach the rest of the staff all about the joys and wonders of Differentiated Instruction. Whoot!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I've been doing a lot of research into the whole roller derby thing. Here's what I've found out thus far:
1) Practice times for the Ft. Myers Derby Girls ARE at a normal time: 9-11 pm on Wednesday nights (that part does sort of suck but it's only once a week) and 11 am - 1 pm on Sundays.
2) I now know how the sport is played, which is definite progress. =-) There are 2 main positions, blockers and jammers. There's also something called pivots, but I'm still a little uncertain as to what they do. Anyway, there are four blockers on each team; they start skating first, and then the jammers (1 for each team) take off. Points are scored when a jammer passes a skater from the opposing team. Blockers, of course, try to block the other team's jammer from getting through, while also trying to clear the way for their own jammer. So...yeah. It's kind of like a football/NASCAR hybrid--on skates.
3) The fact that I'm a beginner skater isn't anywhere as near a hindrance as one might think, LOL. The skater I've been talking to on myspace says that when she first started about a year ago, she was happy if she could stand up on skates without falling over. Even I'M not that bad--I can relatively confidently go around the rink, albeit at a slow and steady pace. So anyway, with practicing twice a week (maybe even more), I could potentially get pretty good, pretty quickly--especially with them teaching me.
So anyway, I'm going to my first practice this Sunday--not so much to actually PRACTICE, but to talk to the skaters, watch them in action and decide if this is really something I want to do. Should be good times.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Nik assigned Renee the letter "D" for that blog game thing; she sent me her list and asked me to post it. As you can see, she went the Nikki route and included a lot of details with hers, as opposed to the Jen School of one or two sentences. Hers are REALLY good, though, and they tell us a lot about the Domestic Goddess. (Note to self: if ever knocked up again, don't O.D. on milk.) So...enjoy!
Should be a given; everyone loves their dad, right? Well, I didn’t for a while. My dad drank a lot and was an angry drunk. He never hit us or anything, but he was miserable to be around and, admittedly, my sister and I were horrible teenagers. So the combination just didn’t work. As soon as we saw his truck pull around the corner, we’d go downstairs to our rooms. We’d come up for dinner and then it was right back down to our rooms. When my dad was diagnosed with diabetes (can’t remember the year, but mid-late ‘90’s), he quit drinking- cold turkey. It sounds kind of backwards, but that diagnosis is probably the best thing to ever happen to our family! Now, my dad is a totally different person and I adore him!
I LOVE staying home and taking care of the house and my boys. Every once in a while I get a bug up my ass and feel like I need to have a job, and I will, but not until I feel Brent could stay home by himself if he’s sick and I have to work, or whatever. But for right now, I truly love being home, doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.
Milk, cheese, yogurt… I love me some dairy products! When I was pregnant, I drank a gallon of milk almost every day. That, my friends, will cause you to gain 60 pounds, so I don’t recommend it, but milk and green grapes were the only things I craved while preggers, and I just HAD to have my milk!
I LOVE DIMPLES! I think they are so cute and ever since I was little, I wished I could have them! My sister and my cousin both inherited my grandpa’s adorable dimples, and I didn’t get any, so I have to admire them from afar. They just make a face so much sweeter!
I’m not really a jewelry girl. And what I do have is inexpensive stuff, not the kind you get at actual jewelry stores. However, on Christmas Eve of 2007, John surprised me with a new ring. It was the 10-year anniversary of when he proposed to me. It was totally unexpected- I was perfectly happy with the ring he’d given me 10 years ago! But he picked it out all by himself and it’s beautiful and I love it.
6. Detroit Red Wings
I had never watched a hockey game before I met John. I’m not really a sports fan. But John introduced me to hockey and I love it! Hockey and MMA are the only sports I would watch even if he weren’t watching them. I’d still much rather read a book, but if I know the Wings are on and he’s not here, I’ll still watch. It’s so exciting! Plus, sweaty hockey players are damn hot.
Do I really need to elaborate here? Pretty much any dessert will suffice ☺
8. Decorating cakes
I discovered my love for this when Brent turned 4. He was really into construction vehicles at the time, so I went with that theme. Chocolate frosting, graham cracker crumb dirt, some vehicles and construction cones, also some guys. It was so fun and he thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Next came SpongeBob, then a cheeseburger (my avatar is that cake), a hot dog and French fries (my favorite) and this past February was an electric guitar. I have so much fun doing it and Brent proclaims each year’s is better than the last. What a sweet kid!
I could sit and draw (and color) with Brent all day. He gets bored pretty quickly, but I think I could sit there for hours. Problem is, I can’t just draw something out of my imagination. I need to look at something and copy it ☺ But our basement walls are covered with some pretty damn good replicas of cartoon and book characters!
10. David Cook/Daughtry/David Baldacci
I’m combining this because they’re all people. David Cook won American Idol last year and he’s AWESOME. Chris Daughtry came in 4th a couple years ago and I love him, too. David Baldacci is an author. The first book I read by him is called The Christmas Train and I fell in love with him then. It’s not his typical political drama stuff, which I also love, but it’s really good!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
When some friends and I went out for St Patrick's Day last night, the tent serving the jello shots caught my eye--but not for the reason you may think. See, the shots were being served by the Ft. Myers Derby Girls.
(Those of you who know me can already see what's coming.)
Yup. I want to be a Derby Girl (think girls on 4-wheel skates going around the rink, racing and occasionally body-slamming each other). I told them that I was a VERY beginning skater and one of the girls said she was, too--she just joined the team and right now she spends more time on her butt than on her feet. But they were all really nice and they're looking for skaters and it sounds really, really fun.
After talking to them and collecting the info, I marched back to my friends. "I'm gonna be a derby girl!" I announced.
And it's funny--they started to laugh, but then stopped and said, "Actually, Jen, we can TOTALLY see you doing that."
Since my sensei left, I've been unable to get back into karate--I've visited a few dojos, but I just don't get the same "vibe" from them that I got from my old place. Plus, my monthly fees would literally quadruple (from $25 a month with Sensei Annie to $100 at these other places). But I really, really, REALLY miss having something just for me. And I think that this derby thing could do kind of the same thing for me that karate did--give me something to focus on and works towards, something to distract me from the other stuff going on in my life, something to bring up my self-confidence. Whether I stick with it for 3 months or a year (or more!), this is something else I can add to my list, something about which I can say, "Yeah, I've done that." As you may have noticed by now, I take *pride* is taking on activities that are more unusual and out there--or ones that other people think I can't...just like with karate. Some people laughed when I started taking karate lessons--but I stuck with it and actually accomplished something (and I would have gone even further, if circumstances hadn't changed).
SO. I'm going to go check them out at the local rink Monday night. Monthly rink expenses, they say, run about $40 a month--MUCH more within my budget than a new karate place. Plus, I already have skates! (Hahahahaha--I wonder if I'll even be allowed to use my Britney Spears ones. How freakin' funny would THAT be? Yeah, I'd be a badass, all right. LOLOL) All that's left is for me to get a helmet and pads. They practice twice a week with bouts (not "matches" or "games") about twice a month. (Imagine how good of shape I could get into!)
And here's the most fun part. Once you become a skater, you have to come up with your "alter ego"--the name and persona you take on on the rink. The names are *supposed* to be funny, creative and out-there. Well, I tried to come up with a good one in bed last night and most of this morning. But every time I thought of a good one, I'd run to check the International Rollergirls' Master Roster of names (yes, there is such a thing)--and inevitably, it'd already be taken. Finally, I thought of one that made me laugh out loud AND is still available--so if I officially sign up for this, I will be known as:
And my number?
(Your number can be absolutely anything you want. If you check out the roster, some girls have #s that aren't even really "numbers"--like "WD40." Like the names, the numbers can be as funny and silly and stupid as you want them to be.)
To check out my (possible) new team, go to http://www.fortmyersderbygirls.com/
If you're bored and want some laughs, check out http://www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/ (the official list of skaters' names)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Best. Night. Ever.
(Disclaimer: These would have been better pics if I hadn't kept forgetting about the freakin' ZOOM FEATURE on my damn cell phone.)
In the forefront: JOEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should have heard me when he first came out. Seriously, I think I screamed so hard that I peed a little.
Still hangin' tough...
I apologize for the blurriness of this last pic; that's what happens when you try to be a Stealth Ninja after a couple of shots. Yes, my friends, she IS sporting head-to-toe day-glo green and pink (please note the headband and the belt).
Details (of COURSE) to follow...
But Kish, you're going to have a BLAST.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Nik posted this on her blog and I decided to give it a shot, too. She assigned me the letter "S"; my job is to come up with 10 of my favoriate things that begin with that letter. If anyone out there in Blog Land hasn't done this yet and is up for it, let me know. However, keep in mind that you don't get to pick your own letter--I get to give it to you. And now, without further ado...
1) Seriously, do I even have to SAY the #1 "S" word on my list? LOL. It's almost TOO easy, really. (For those of you who have clearly never met and/or talked to me, my mind is most definitely in the gutter here.)
2) Sunsets. And I'm lucky enough to have lived in 2 states--Michigan and Florida--that both have some pretty amazing sunsets. Especially when seen from the beach.
3) Strawberries. Next to watermelon, easily my favorite fruit (especially when used in conjunction with #1).
4) Sleeping (or sleeping IN). My ability to sleep in is probably the main hesitation I have about becoming a parent. Let's just say that, left to my own devices, waking up before 11 on the weekends is "getting up early." And that's 11 at NIGHT. LOL
5) Stars - the kind in the sky. I totally stole this from Nikki but truly, astronomy is a big love of mine, too. I actually invested in a decent telescope a couple of years ago. Also, along these same lines, astrology (also star-related) is something else that I fully believe in and am totally into.
6) Stars - the celebrity kind. I am my mother's daughter and my sister's sister (LOL). We are all very, very big followers of the goings-on of the rich and famous. People mag, Star mag, etc.--I love 'em all.
7) Smoking. I'm sorry. I know it's horrible for my health and will kill me if I don't quit, especially with my asthma. And truly, I continue to fight it, in a way I never have before--in fact, I'm chewing nicotine gum as we speak. But I will have to fight that urge to smoke for the rest of my damn life--because sometimes, nothing beats a cigarette.
8) Students...most of the time. =-) Even when they're driving me crazy, I love them.
9) Showers. I shower at least twice a day--once in the morning and once at night. In the morning for obvious reasons--but at night, it's like my body NEEDS it now to unwind and relax. Sure, I could wash my face at the sink and call it a day, but it's just not the same. It's not bedtime until I've taken my shower.
10) Sarcasm. Spend more than 10 minutes with me (sometimes, even less than that) and you'll see what I mean. I have a heart of freakin' gold--but I'm also a smartass. That's just how I roll.
11) Straightener (for my hair). I have thick and wavy hair--not the pretty kind, but the frizzy kind. Even when I don't full-out "straighten" it, my flat iron helps me to keep it more manageable. (FYI: This is my extra "bonus" item because, once again, my #1 was just too. damn. easy. LOL)
12) "Swingers" --the MOVIE, you freaks, not the actual partner-swappers. This is my favorite movie EVER. If you still haven't seen it, rent it NOW. It features an early Vince Vaughn and it shows how MEN handle breakups. Good stuff. (There. And now I have TWO extra items, this one to make up for the fact that I used "stars" twice, even though they were 2 totally different things.)
And I'm not just talking about the fact that one 5th grade girl spread a rumor today that another 5th grade girl was a lesbian (and if you don't think THAT'S drama, then you've been out of 5th grade too long. Hell, I didn't eat lunch today because this rumor had hit MIDDLE SCHOOL and I was talking the target of the rumor down from a freakin' ledge--seriously, girls are just HORRIBLE to each other).
No, this is Jen Drama. And I mean for realz. See, my roommate went gone on vacation last week. I totally dug having the place to myself for the first time since I moved in....
...until today, when he STILL hadn't shown back up. Mind you, when I didn't see him yesterday, I didn't think TOO much of it, I just figured he was taking an extra vacation day. But when I still didn't see him TODAY, I finally called him to see if he was still alive.
Turns out, he quit his job (hence the "vacation" last week--he had already quit and just didn't tell me) and has been across the state, staying with friends and looking for a new job.
Now, this could be good OR bad for me. Keep in mind that he OWNS this place (not rents; owns). He swears up and down that he's not getting rid of this place until at LEAST next year (because frankly, with the housing market the way that it is, he probably couldn't even if he wanted to). He said that if I'm still here paying half of rent and utilities and all that, he'll keep it. So basically, I pay half the rent and get the place all to myself--a sweet deal, right? It just makes me nervous knowing that he COULD call me next week or whatever and tell me I need to find a new place to live. He promised me that even if he DID get rid of it, he'd give me at least 60 days notice--but again, he stressed, it's not something we'd have to deal with until at least next year. However, I'm much more cynical than I used to be, and what if he's just SAYING that to keep me here until he DOES have a buyer lined up (which, again, even if he's trying to, could take a long ass time)? Should I start looking for a place now, or believe him when he says I'm good indefinitely?
BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, MY FRIENDS, I WASN'T STRESSED OUT AND/OR CRAZY ENOUGH ALREADY.
**Interestingly, this "crisis" has kind of bonded Steve and I (Steve is the guy I've been re-dating (yes, "re-dating"--it's a word if you're single) for a few weeks now. I called him in a tizzy and we talked and he helped me out a lot and it's kind of like the movie "Failure to Launch", a reference that won't mean any thing to you if you haven't seen it--but suddenly, we're more couple-y now, which is an interesting plot twist. In fact, as we speak, I'm trying to organize plans for St Patrick's Day--which isn't for a freakin' WEEK--because 1) he's Irish and 2) he's from BOSTON so, as he says, this is like "his New Year's Eve"--and he goes, "And I'm trying to tell you that I want to spend it with YOU but I also want you to understand that this is a pretty big deal for me!!" LOL. Because I've always been very take-it-or-leave-it when it comes to the crowds and green beer and all that crap. And he was having a heart attack because I kept saying, "Yeah, dude, we'll hang out, let's figure it out next week," and he's literally trying to line shit up like it's NYE. Luckily for HIM, one of my friends at school is engaged to the morning DJs at one of the top radio stations here in town, a DJ who happens to be doing a live remote both this weekend AND on the actual holiday, so Steve is about to get the hookup--hell yeah!).
Monday, March 09, 2009
So Randy's blog tipped me off to the fact that our world is supposedly going to end on December 21, 2012. Am I the only one who didn't get the memo?
Because according to my online research, this theory is EVERYWHERE. And this is no "our computers are going to go all wacky/Y2K" thing, either. I'm talking straight-up kaboom.
Now from what I can tell, all of this stems from the fact that the Mayan calendar, which has been unerringly accurate for thousands of years, ends on this date. And that, it seems, has freaked some people out.
The actual reasons for this, of course, vary, ranging from religious (the return of Jesus, the Messiah) to scientific (our poles would reverse, causing all kinds of natural disasters from floods to earthquakes). But it all goes back to that date.
Well, out of all the explanations, I personally would lean towards the Jesus angle. I mean, the Bible says it's going to happen, and I guess 2012 is as good a time as any. (I'll tell you one thing, though: if I'm not married by then, my ass is eloping to Vegas on December 20. I don't even care with whom. Shit, ANYONE can put up with me for 24 hours, right? ...RIGHT?) However, the most reassuring thing I read is from the many Mayan experts out there who say that this "end of the world" is merely a recycling/new beginning of the calendar cycle; a resetting, if you will--or even better, that there's nothing pointing to 2012 at all.
My two favorite statements on this subject come from the article linked below, from a newspaper out of (it appears) South Africa. In it, the author makes the following points in regards to the alleged error-proof Mayan calendar:
1) "What if the stonecutters simply downed tools and said: 'Bloody hell! We’re more than a thousand years ahead on this production line. Let’s go and carve some restaurant lintels and have some fun.' "
And for that matter:
2) "Still, I can’t help asking: why, if these Mayans were so damn clever, are they so damn extinct? Of what use is it to foresee the end of the world when you can’t even see the imminent collapse of your own culture, which was much closer at hand?"
Even so, I think I better attend church more often.
AND plan that trip to Vegas.
In an effort to motivate us before our students begin the big state tests tomorrow (the outcome of which are a HUGE deal), admin placed Blow Pops in our mail boxes today, complete with a sticker that said, "Blow Your Way to an 'A' !" (a reference to the state grading system for our schools, as determined solely by our students' performances on said tests)
Seriously? Who was the marketing genius who came up with THAT one?
(In a side note, I had about 6 of those f*ckers in my box by the end of the day. Bitches.)
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Maybe it's the meds, but I found this to be hilarious. These 2 guys took the Sham-Wow infomercial (which is classic in and of itself) and used it to write a song. They took the exact informercial (word for word--adding nothing, deleting nothing) and set it to music. Like I said, I'm pretty doped up right now, but I was mightily entertained.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Since I moved to Florida, I've prided myself on being a Yankee--especially when it came to the weather. In the dead of "winter," I'd be walking around in short sleeves and a tshirt while everyone else was bundled up in winter jackets, scarves and (I shit you not) earmuffs.
Tonight, I went for a walk. At least, I tried to. But about 2 minutes from my door (which was like a millionth of a mile), I had to turn back. My teeth were chattering and I was shivering. It was PAINFULLY cold. How could Florida possibly be so frigid? I wondered. We must be undergoing the cold snap that the rest of the country was experiencing. I literally ran back to the comfort of my condo and jacked up the heat (yes, the HEAT). Then I checked weather.com--the hour-by-hour forecast, even. To what ungodly temps had South Florida dropped?
As of 7 pm, it was 62 degrees.
Three years into my tenure here, I am now--officially--a Floridian.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
The spelling bee is done and over with, so that's good. Now I have to accompany the winners to our company-wide spelling bee in April (the last couple of years, it's been held at one of our schools across the state but this year, it's in OUR hood--whoot! West Coast, bitches! LOL. I'm so gangsta). One of my boys got 3rd for the elementary bee, so that's cool.
We are entering our last week of FCAT prep, and then testing begins the week after that. In 5th grade, we have a reading test, 2 math tests and a science test--so my students are testing almost the whole week. And after that, we can go back to actually TEACHING again. Thank God I have my New Kids concert that week--my light at the end (well, middle of, technically) the tunnel. A concert (and late night) in the middle of this incredibly major week is actually not ideal, but--IT'S NEW KIDS!!!! I don't think you guys realize how MAJOR this is for me. (LOL--is that sad?)
Otherwise...I'm hanging in there. Still struggling with some stuff but hell, who isn't, right? I'll come out all right.
How's everyone out there?